Avalanche Advisory: Wednesday - Mar 11, 2020

THIS AVALANCHE ADVISORY EXPIRED ON March 12, 2020 @ 6:23 am
Avalanche Advisory published on March 11, 2020 @ 6:23 am
Issued by Steve Mace - ESAC

MODERATE avalanche danger exists at upper elevations today and LOW avalanche danger resides at mid and lower elevations. Wind slabs will be the primary concern on all aspects near and above treeline. Extreme terrain such as couloirs and unsupported slopes adjacent to cliff bands and rock outcroppings deserve extra consideration. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully if you head into the backcountry today and avoid features of concern.

2. Moderate

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

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

2-3” of new snow fell last night accompanied by light to moderate ridgetop winds that shifted around the compass. It is also possible that local snow totals were higher in the southern part of the range. While the light overnight winds will have limited the distribution and size of recent wind deposits, it will be prudent to keep an eye out for areas of fresh wind slab development.  Exposed leeward catchment zones, cross-loaded depressions, and gully features near and above treeline deserve extra consideration. Blowing snow, recent cornice growth, and uneven snow surfaces are all clues that indicate nearby wind deposits. Do your own localized assessments, be aware of what is above you, and be suspect of terrain features that encourage drifting particularly in extreme or complex terrain. 

advisory discussion

In addition to elevated avalanche conditions today, it is prudent to remember that we are still dealing with a thin snowpack. Recent field observations continue to highlight a thinning snowpack particularly at lower elevations and on solar aspects.  While any new snow is a welcome sight it remains important to evaluate slopes for shallowly buried rocks and other obstacles. Furthermore, variable surface conditions are making for challenging skiing and riding. Move cautiously through terrain and be prepared for your objectives by researching current access and bringing the proper equipment.

Weather and CURRENT CONDITIONS
weather summary

Expect partly cloudy skies and light northerly winds today with a chance of snow showers. Temperatures may reach into the mid 30°s or low 40°s at mid-elevations while remaining below freezing at upper elevations.  

Things may warm up a bit as we move into the latter part of the week with Above normal temperatures and gusty winds likely for Thursday and Friday. models are suggesting a round of unsettled weather this weekend and into early 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: Mostly cloudy. Chance of snow in the morning, then scattered showers in the afternoon. Snow levels 7000 feet increasing to 8000 feet in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 35%. Partly cloudy. Slight chance of showers in the evening. Snow levels 8000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 20%. Partly cloudy then becoming sunny. Snow levels 8000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 0%.
Temperatures: 35 to 45. deg. F. 24 to 30. deg. F. 40 to 50. deg. F.
Mid Slope Winds: East up to 10 mph. East to northeast around 10 mph. Gusts up to 25 mph after midnight. Northeast around 15 mph with gusts up to 30 mph.
Expected snowfall: up to 1 inch. | SWE = less than 0.10 inch. in. 10% probability up to 1 inch. 90% probability no accumulation. | SWE = less than 0.10 inch. in. 0 in.
Over 10,000 ft.
Wednesday Wednesday Night Thursday
Weather: Mostly cloudy. Chance of snow in the morning, then scattered snow showers in the afternoon. Snow levels 7000 feet increasing to 8000 feet in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 40%. Partly cloudy. Slight chance of snow showers in the evening. Snow levels 8000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 20%. Partly cloudy then becoming sunny. Snow levels 8000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 5%.
Temperatures: 26 to 34. deg. F. 19 to 24. deg. F. 29 to 39. deg. F.
Ridge Top Winds: North to northeast around 15 mph with gusts to 30 mph. Northeast 15 to 25 mph. Northeast 15 to 30 mph with gusts to 40 mph.
Expected snowfall: up to 1 inch. | SWE = less than 0.10 inch. in. 10% probability up to 1 inch. 90% probability no accumulation. | SWE = less than 0.10 inch. 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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