Avalanche Advisory: Sunday - Mar 22, 2020

THIS AVALANCHE ADVISORY EXPIRED ON March 23, 2020 @ 6:57 am
Avalanche Advisory published on March 22, 2020 @ 6:57 am
Issued by Josh Feinberg - Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center

Surprisingly light winds will keep the Avalanche danger LOW at all elevations, despite recent light snowfall.  If winds pick up more than expected, watch for small isolated areas of deeper denser snow deposits at the highest elevations that could be sensitive to a human trigger.      

 

1. Low

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Above Treeline
Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.

1. Low

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Near Treeline
Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.

1. Low

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Below Treeline
Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.
    Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.
Avalanche Problem 1: Normal Caution
  • Type ?

Field observations yesterday in the central and northern parts of the forecast zone found 3-6” of light new snow that fell at higher elevations between Friday night thru Saturday.  Another 1-2” are possible this afternoon.  Winds over the past few days have been the lightest we’ve seen all season resulting in widespread areas of soft unconsolidated snow.  If the winds increase more than expected today and you see snow blowing, look out for small isolated fresh wind slabs at upper elevations just below ridgelines and sidewalls of gullies.  In steep upper elevation extreme terrain, loose dry sloughing could occur that could lead to a fall, and should be managed carefully.  

 
advisory discussion

After some discussion, we’ve dropped the persistent slab problem despite a deeper underlying poor snowpack structure that can be found in many areas.  The new snow from this past week has settled well, and without any reports of avalanches breaking down in deeper weak layers and the discontinuity that has been found across slopes, it is time to remove this as a problem.  That doesn’t mean that a deeper slab avalanche is impossible, just very unlikely at this point.  It is always important to do your own localized assessments and practice safe travel protocols by spreading out and exposing one person at a time to steeper slopes.    

 

A shallow snowpack exists in many areas and sharks abound!  Be aware of rocks and logs lurking just under the snow surface ready to snipe you.  There have been some serious injuries already this past week. Tone it down, this is especially not a time to get hurt!

 
Weather and CURRENT CONDITIONS
weather summary

For today expect light winds, partly sunny skies, and some periods of light flurries in the afternoon that could lead to 1-2” of new snow especially up high by dark. High temperatures should remain slightly below freezing around 10,000’.  A low pressure system moves into the area this evening, bringing greater chances of a few inches of snow overnight and increased winds with ridge top gusts expected into the 30 mph range.  

 

Unsettled weather remains thru next week with chances of light snow and moderate winds until high pressure begins building next weekend.

Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the Reno NWS
For 8,000 ft. to 10,000 ft.
Sunday Sunday Night Monday
Weather: Partly cloudy then becoming mostly cloudy. Chance of snow in the afternoon. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 25%. Mostly cloudy. Chance of snow. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 30%. Mostly cloudy then becoming partly cloudy. Chance of snow. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 45%.
Temperatures: 30 to 38. deg. F. 18 to 23. deg. F. 31 to 41. deg. F.
Mid Slope Winds: Light winds. Light winds. West 15 to 25 mph. Gusts up to 40 mph.
Expected snowfall: Up to 1 inch. | SWE = less than 0.10 inch. in. 80% probability up to 2 inches. 20% probability of 2 to 4 inches. | SWE = less than 0.10 inch. in. Up to 2 inches. | SWE = less than 0.10 inch. in.
Over 10,000 ft.
Sunday Sunday Night Monday
Weather: Partly cloudy then becoming mostly cloudy. Chance of snow in the afternoon. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 30%. Mostly cloudy. Chance of snow. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 40%. Mostly cloudy. Chance of snow. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 50%.
Temperatures: 20 to 28. deg. F. 13 to 18. deg. F. 21 to 29. deg. F.
Ridge Top Winds: Southeast 15 to 20 mph. Southwest around 15 mph. Gusts up to 25 mph. Southwest 15 to 30 mph. Gusts up to 50 mph.
Expected snowfall: Up to 2 inches. | SWE = less than 0.10 inch. in. 70% probability 1 to 2 inches. 30% probability of 2 to 4 inches. | SWE = up to 0.15 inch. in. Up to 2 inches. | SWE = less than 0.10 inch. in.
Disclaimer
This Avalanche Advisory is designed to generally describe avalanche conditions where local variations always occur. This product only applies to backcountry areas located outside established ski area boundaries. The information in this Avalanche Advisory is provided by the Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center, who is solely responsible for its content.

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