Avalanche Advisory: Wednesday - Jan 1, 2020

THIS AVALANCHE ADVISORY EXPIRED ON January 2, 2020 @ 6:55 am
Avalanche Advisory published on January 1, 2020 @ 6:55 am
Issued by Josh Feinberg - Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center

Happy New Year!  LOW avalanche danger exists at all elevations today.  LOW does not mean NO.  Small windslabs sensitive to a human trigger may be found in isolated areas at tree-line and above.  

 

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

NW winds are expected to increase throughout the day today, gusting into the 70mph range over higher ridge lines and up to 60mph at mid-elevations.  While soft transportable snow in exposed areas is limited, small new wind slabs sensitive to a human trigger may develop in isolated areas.  While unlikely, it may also be possible to trigger an older small stubborn wind slab.  Be wary of small dense snow deposits especially in consequential or extreme terrain where triggering a small pocket could result in a bad fall.          

 
advisory discussion

1-2” of light snow fell Sunday night, and 2-3” of new snow fell Christmas night with dramatically higher amounts in June and north due to upslope lake effects (1.5ft plus!).  Before that, 5-9” of new snow fell on the night of Dec 22nd.  Throughout the past week and a half winds have been shifting back and forth around the compass from light to gale force, redistributing snow back and forth in exposed areas.  Cornices have formed, been broken down, and re-formed on both sides of ridges.  All this back and forth snow movement has left little soft snow in exposed areas for today’s higher winds to transport.  That doesn’t mean it’s impossible for small new deposits to form!  

 

At lower elevations and in sheltered terrain plenty of soft snow still exists.  But keep in mind that the snowpack is shallow in many areas, and while the riding can be great, hidden obstacles abound.

Weather and CURRENT CONDITIONS
weather summary

Expect mostly sunny skies with some clouds today, increasing winds out of the NW gusting into the 70s over ridge tops in the afternoon, and mild temperatures with highs reaching the mid 30s around 10,000’.

 

Models predict high and dry conditions thru next week :-(.

Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the Reno NWS
For 8,000 ft. to 10,000 ft.
Wednesday Wednesday Night Thursday
Weather: Partly cloudy. Snow levels 7500 feet increasing to 8500 feet in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 5%. Partly cloudy then becoming clear. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 0%. Sunny. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 0%.
Temperatures: 36 to 44. deg. F. 19 to 24. deg. F. 35 to 41. deg. F.
Mid Slope Winds: Northwest 15 to 25 mph. Gusts up to 45 mph increasing to 60 mph in the afternoon. Northwest 15 to 25 mph with gusts to 60 mph. Northwest around 15 mph. Gusts up to 50 mph decreasing to 35 mph in the afternoon.
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. 0 in.
Over 10,000 ft.
Wednesday Wednesday Night Thursday
Weather: Partly cloudy. Snow levels 7500 feet increasing to 8500 feet in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 5%. Partly cloudy then becoming clear. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 0%. Sunny. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 0%.
Temperatures: 30 to 36. deg. F. 15 to 20. deg. F. 28 to 34. deg. F.
Ridge Top Winds: West 20 to 30 mph with gusts to 50 mph increasing to northwest 30 to 50 mph with gusts to 75 mph in the afternoon. Northwest 30 to 45 mph increasing to 35 to 55 mph after midnight. Gusts up to 80 mph. Northwest 30 to 45 mph with gusts to 65 mph decreasing to 15 to 30 mph with gusts to 40 mph in the afternoon.
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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