Avalanche Advisory: Wednesday - Jan 8, 2020

THIS AVALANCHE ADVISORY EXPIRED ON January 9, 2020 @ 6:59 am
Avalanche Advisory published on January 8, 2020 @ 6:59 am
Issued by Josh Feinberg - Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center

Low avalanche danger exists for all elevations.  Despite strong winds last night and today, avalanches are unlikely as loose snow available for transport is very limited.  That does not mean it is impossible for a small isolated pocket of recent wind deposit to exist that could result in a bad fall if triggered in steep consequential terrain.  Normal caution is advised. 

 

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 ?

Firm variable surfaces exist for essentially all exposed areas at tree line and above, and even some areas below tree line.  Conditions in many places are Slide for Life, and a simple fall will be hard to self arrest.  West to SW winds increased substantially last night and are expected to continue thru today with gusts into the 60s over ridge tops this morning.  Despite barely any loose snow available for transport, continue to watch for small isolated pockets of recently wind-drifted snow if traveling in steep consequential terrain.  A tiny slab release could be enough to knock a rider off balance and lead to a bad fall, especially with the thin snowpack and obstacles.        

 

While avalanches of any kind are unlikely today, it is always important to carry avalanche rescue equipment (beacon, shovel, probe), know how to use it, and practice safe travel protocols such as exposing one person at a time.

 
advisory discussion

It’s been over a week and a half since any new snow has fallen in our area, and winds have been spinning around the compass from every direction since that time.  Surfaces everywhere exposed at tree line and above are wind hammered, and range from firm edge-able wind board to breakable crust to sastrugi, to an occasional pocket of soft scalloped snow.  On solar aspects melt-freeze crusts have been growing.  In protected areas clear skies and cold nighttime temperatures have led to faceting breaking down crusts and soft snow.  Keep all these surfaces in mind, as they will make bonding interesting when we do finally get a substantial new snowfall.    

 
Weather and CURRENT CONDITIONS
weather summary

Partly cloudy skies, west winds, and cooler temperatures with highs in the mid 20s around 10,000’ are on tap for today.  Strong winds this morning gusting into the 60s over ridge tops will weaken this afternoon with gusts into the 30s.  

 

A weak weather system moves in tonight thru tomorrow bringing the possibly of 1-3” of new snow, much colder temperatures, and continued W to SW winds.

 

Our dry weather has a chance for real change as a more significant system moves toward the coast on Friday night.  The models are in disagreement, but depending on the track we could receive a burst of decent snowfall late Friday night into Saturday.  Potential for heavier snowfall exists for mid 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: Sunny then becoming partly cloudy. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 0%. Partly cloudy. Slight chance of snow after midnight. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 15%. Mostly cloudy. Snow likely in the morning, then chance of snow showers in the afternoon. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 60%.
Temperatures: 27 to 35. deg. F. 12 to 17. deg. F. 22 to 28. deg. F.
Mid Slope Winds: West 15 to 20 mph. Gusts up to 40 mph decreasing to 30 mph in the afternoon. Southwest around 15 mph with gusts to 35 mph. West 15 to 20 mph with gusts to 40 mph.
Expected snowfall: 0 in. Up to 1 inch. | SWE = trace amounts. in. 90% probability of 1 to 3 inches. 10% probability of 3 to 5 inches. | SWE = up to 0.15 inch. in.
Over 10,000 ft.
Wednesday Wednesday Night Thursday
Weather: Partly cloudy. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 5%. Mostly cloudy then becoming partly cloudy. Slight chance of snow after midnight. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 15%. Mostly cloudy. Snow likely in the morning, then chance of snow showers in the afternoon. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 65%.
Temperatures: 20 to 26. deg. F. 10 to 15. deg. F. 15 to 21. deg. F.
Ridge Top Winds: West 20 to 30 mph with gusts to 60 mph decreasing to 15 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph in the afternoon. Southwest 15 to 30 mph. Gusts up to 35 mph increasing to 45 mph after midnight. West 15 to 30 mph with gusts to 45 mph.
Expected snowfall: 0 in. Up to 1 inch. | SWE = trace amounts. in. 90% probability of 1 to 3 inches. 10% 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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