Avalanche Advisory: Tuesday - Mar 24, 2020

THIS AVALANCHE ADVISORY EXPIRED ON March 25, 2020 @ 6:26 am
Avalanche Advisory published on March 24, 2020 @ 6:26 am
Issued by Steve Mace - ESAC

CONSIDERABLE avalanche danger persists at upper elevations today, and MODERATE avalanche danger exists at mid-elevations. Fresh and sensitive wind slabs will be the primary concern today on northerly and easterly aspects near and above treeline. Human triggered avalanches are likely today. Cautious route-finding and conservative decision making will be essential if you decide to travel into the backcountry today.  

3. Considerable

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Above Treeline
Dangerous avalanche conditions. Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious route-finding and conservative decision-making essential.

2. Moderate

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

1. Low

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Below Treeline
Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.
    Dangerous avalanche conditions. Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious route-finding and conservative decision-making essential.
Avalanche Problem 1: Wind Slab
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  • Aspect/Elevation ?
  • Likelihood ?
    Certain
    Very Likely
    Likely
    Possible
    Unlikely
  • Size ?
    Historic
    Very Large
    Large
    Small

Expect wind slabs to increase in size and distribution today as light snow showers continue throughout the day and strong southwesterly winds continue to redistribute loose surface snow. Wind slabs sensitive to human trigger will be likely on NW-N-E-SE aspects at mid and upper 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.  Surface clues such as blowing snow, large drifts, dense hollow feeling snow, recent cornice growth, and uneven snow surfaces can help you identify and avoid areas of recent wind deposit.

advisory discussion

Field observations identified numerous natural and human triggered wind slab avalanches throughout the range yesterday. Expect the size and distribution of these sensitive slabs to increase throughout the day today. While current concerns are limited to surface instabilities it is worth remembering that in many areas the new snow from the past couple weeks is resting on a weak and unconsolidated base. While an avalanche breaking down on these deeper weak layers will be unlikely it is not completely out of the realm of possibility. Do your own localized assessments and continue to use safe travel practices.

It is also important to remember that we are still dealing with a shallow snowpack. Shallowly buried rocks and trees remain a significant hazard. Now is a good time to tone it down. Every care should be taken to avoid injuries and unnecessary risk at this point in time.

Weather and CURRENT CONDITIONS
weather summary

Expect mostly cloudy skies and light snow showers today. 2-4” is possible during daytime hours today and an additional 2-5” is possible tonight. Strong winds will continue out of the southwest today with ridgetop gusts around 75 mph this morning. Expect near-freezing temperatures today reaching close 30°F at mid-elevations.

Unsettled weather should continue for the next few days bringing scattered showers and gusty winds. A high-pressure system is expected to settle into the area on Thursday bringing dry and sunny conditions for the weekend. 

 

Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the Reno NWS
For 8,000 ft. to 10,000 ft.
Tuesday Tuesday Night Wednesday
Weather: Mostly cloudy. Chance of snow through the day. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 35%. Mostly cloudy. Chance of snow. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 55%. Mostly cloudy. Snow showers likely. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 60%.
Temperatures: 28 to 38. deg. F. 15 to 20. deg. F. 23 to 33. deg. F.
Mid Slope Winds: Southwest 20 to 30 mph with gusts to 60 mph. Southwest 15 to 25 mph with gusts to 45 mph. Southwest around 15 mph. Gusts up to 40 mph decreasing to 30 mph in the afternoon.
Expected snowfall: 60% probability of 2 to 4 inches. 40% probability of 1 to 2 inches. | SWE = less than 0.10 inch. in. 70% probability of 2 to 6 inches. 30% probability of 1 to 2 inches. | SWE = up to 0.20 inch. in. 60% probability of 1 to 3 inches. 40% probability no accumulation. | SWE = less than 0.10 inch. in.
Over 10,000 ft.
Tuesday Tuesday Night Wednesday
Weather: Mostly cloudy. Snow likely through the day. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 50%. Mostly cloudy. Snow likely. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 65%. Mostly cloudy. Snow showers likely. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 65%.
Temperatures: 19 to 27. deg. F. 9 to 14. deg. F. 15 to 23. deg. F.
Ridge Top Winds: Southwest 35 to 55 mph decreasing to 30 to 45 mph in the afternoon. Gusts up to 75 mph. Southwest 25 to 35 mph with gusts to 60 mph. Southwest 15 to 30 mph. Gusts up to 50 mph decreasing to 35 mph in the afternoon.
Expected snowfall: 60% probability of 2 to 4 inches. 40% probability of 1 to 2 inches. | SWE = up to 0.15 inch. in. 70% probability of 2 to 5 inches. 30% probability of 1 to 2 inches. | SWE = up to 0.25 inch. in. 60% probability of 1 to 3 inches. 40% probability no accumulation. | SWE = up to 0.15 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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