Avalanche Advisory: Thursday - Feb 27, 2020

THIS AVALANCHE ADVISORY EXPIRED ON February 28, 2020 @ 6:14 am
Avalanche Advisory published on February 27, 2020 @ 6:14 am
Issued by Steve Mace - ESAC

LOW avalanche danger persists at all elevations today. While generally safe avalanche conditions exist, it will not be impossible to find areas of unstable snow today. Surface warming resulting from the strong sierra sun and unseasonably warm temperatures today deserve extra consideration, particularly on solar aspects. 

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: Loose Wet
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  • Aspect/Elevation ?
  • Likelihood ?
    Certain
    Very Likely
    Likely
    Possible
    Unlikely
  • Size ?
    Historic
    Very Large
    Large
    Small

Cold temperatures and clear skies overnight likely led to a strong overnight freeze. Sunny skies and warm daytime temperatures are expected today and may lead to substantial surface melt. Be on the lookout for warming surface snow on solar aspects at all elevations and expect this to occur first on easterly slopes transitioning to southerly and westerly slopes by the afternoon.  While consequential loose wet avalanches are unlikely, they are not out of the realm of possibility today. Wet, sticky snow surface, rollerballs and pinwheels, and increasing boot penetration are all signs of surface warming and may foreshadow larger point release avalanches.

advisory discussion

Recent field observations have indicated that the new snow from last Saturday has been bonding fairly well to the old snow surface.  Isolated areas of unstable snow may exist throughout the range, particularly in the southern part of the forecast area. Be on the lookout for warming surface snow on solar aspects and isolated pockets of stubborn wind slab at upper elevations. 

While the risk of consequential avalanches is low today, variable and firm surface conditions and the overall thin coverage remain hazardous. Some solar aspects that still hold snow have seen many days of melt-freeze cycle and resemble something more typical to late spring. Conversely, many shaded aspects are harboring settled new snow, a variety of temperature crusts, and/or loose dry faceted snow.  Timing will be important if you decide to venture onto solar aspects today. It may be necessary to climb on hard slick snow and wait for the sun to soften things up before descending. A fall could be hard to self-arrest in many areas and exposed rocks and other obstacles may increase the consequence of a fall. Continue to practice safe travel techniques and bring the proper equipment for your objective.  

 

Weather and CURRENT CONDITIONS
weather summary

Expect clear skies and daytime temperatures well above seasonal averages today. highs in the mid 40°s or low 50°s at mid-elevations. Light winds will continue today at all elevations.

 

High pressure remains in control and Warm and dry conditions will continue through the end of the week bringing generally light winds and clear skies. A brief low-pressure system is expected to impact the area this weekend bringing gusty SW winds, cold temperatures, and a chance of precipitation.

Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the Reno NWS
For 8,000 ft. to 10,000 ft.
Thursday Thursday Night Friday
Weather: Sunny. Clear. Partly cloudy.
Temperatures: 43 to 53. deg. F. 22 to 28. deg. F. 43 to 53. deg. F.
Mid Slope Winds: Light winds. Light winds. Light winds becoming southwest around 15 mph in the afternoon. Gusts up to 30 mph.
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. 0 in.
Over 10,000 ft.
Thursday Thursday Night Friday
Weather: Sunny. Clear. Partly cloudy.
Temperatures: 32 to 42. deg. F. 18 to 23. deg. F. 33 to 41. deg. F.
Ridge Top Winds: Light winds. Light winds becoming west around 15 mph after midnight. Southwest 15 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph.
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. 0 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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