Avalanche Advisory: Thursday - Mar 14, 2019

THIS AVALANCHE ADVISORY EXPIRED ON March 15, 2019 @ 6:39 am
Avalanche Advisory published on March 14, 2019 @ 6:39 am
Issued by Steve Mace - ESAC

MODERATE avalanche danger remains at upper elevations today due to the continued possibility of wind slab avalanches. While LOW danger resides at mid and lower elevations it will not be impossible to find isolated pockets of unstable snow. 

2. Moderate

?

Above Treeline
Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.

1. Low

?

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

1. Low

?

Below Treeline
Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.
    Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.
Avalanche Problem 1: Wind Slab
  • Type ?
  • Aspect/Elevation ?
  • Likelihood ?
    Certain
    Very Likely
    Likely
    Possible
    Unlikely
  • Size ?
    Historic
    Very Large
    Large
    Small

Over the past several days we have seen the wind direction shift around the compass. While winds were steady out of the NE yesterday and will continue to be today, don’t be surprised to find areas of wind deposit on all aspects.  Wind slabs today will likely range from fresh and sensitive to older and more stubborn.   While the greatest concern today will be at upper elevations and in extreme terrain don’t be surprised to find isolated areas of wind slab at lower elevations.  Do your own localized assessments and be suspect of terrain features that encourage drifting such as the leeward sides of ridgelines, gully features, and cross-loaded depressions. 

Avalanche Problem 2: Loose Dry
  • Type ?
  • Aspect/Elevation ?
  • Likelihood ?
    Certain
    Very Likely
    Likely
    Possible
    Unlikely
  • Size ?
    Historic
    Very Large
    Large
    Small

While it is becoming harder to find areas that have not been impacted by the wind some sheltered northerly aspects are still holding cold unconsolidated snow.  It will still be possible to find areas prone to loose dry avalanches today. While resulting slides are likely to be relatively small there is certainly enough snow to cause a fall and carry a skier through unpleasant terrain. Be cautious on steep, sheltered terrain and manage your slough wisely.

advisory discussion

While our recent stint of calm clear weather has enticed many to venture into the high country it is worth keeping in mind that we are still dealing with a mid-winter snowpack. Be on the lookout for changing conditions and be prepared for variable snow surfaces.  Recent observations speak to this special variability with reports of surface conditions ranging from slick supportable crusts where travel is difficult without crampons to cold unconsolidated powder where slough management remains crucial.   Pick your routes carefully and be prepared for it all.

With slightly warmer temperatures and lower wind speeds today it’s worth keeping a lookout for signs of warming on solar aspects. While large-scale loose wet activity is unlikely don’t be surprised to see small point releases at lower elevations.

Weather and CURRENT CONDITIONS
weather summary

 Expect a mild day today, with sunny skies moderate winds and temperatures reaching into the upper 20’s at upper elevations.  Winds will be out of the northeast today with gust expected around 50 mph. Expect wind speeds to drop this afternoon becoming light this evening.  

High pressure will continue through the weekend with the next system of active weather arriving sometime early next week.

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. Partly cloudy. Partly cloudy.
Temperatures: 32 to 40. deg. F. 13 to 18. deg. F. 34 to 40. deg. F.
Mid Slope Winds: Northeast 10 to 20 mph. Gusts up to 35 mph in the morning. Light winds. Light winds.
Expected snowfall: None in. None in. None in.
Over 10,000 ft.
Thursday Thursday Night Friday
Weather: Sunny. Partly cloudy. Partly cloudy.
Temperatures: 26 to 31. deg. F. 10 to 15. deg. F. 26 to 31. deg. F.
Ridge Top Winds: Northeast 15 to 25 mph. Gusts up to 50 mph decreasing to 25 mph in the afternoon. Northeast around 15 mph in the evening becoming light. East around 15 mph. Gusts up to 25 mph in the afternoon.
Expected snowfall: None in. None in. None 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.

ESAC receives support from ...