Avalanche danger exists on slopes 35 degrees or steeper in exposed high elevation terrain on north facing slopes today. Human triggered avalanches are possible today.
This snowpack summary is for the June Mountain and Mammoth Lakes Basin. This summary will be updated tomorrow morning, March 1.
Last night, 4 to 6" of snow fell in the Mammoth area while a couple of inches fell on June Mountain. Winds were strong enough yesterday to blow a rider off his feet and down the Hourglass in the Negatives area. An observer from the Mammoth Lakes Basin reported wind transport of new snow along the ridge of the Red Cone Bowl along with numerous small thin wind slabs .
Another round of snowfall is expected by mid day with accumulations up to 6-8" in the high elevations of the Mammoth Basin and June Mountain by Sunday morning. Winds at the top of Mammoth Mountain are blowing around 40 mph. This is prime wind speed for wind slab formation in exposed terrain and in small features of complex terrain (see photo in Observations). Last night's snow has not had enough time to bond to itself and the old snow underneath. Additional snowfall today will increase the avalanche danger and human triggered avalanches are possible. Southwest and west winds will easily transport today's low density snow and form wind slabs that will be easy to trigger.
This photo is from the Sawtooth Avalanche Center and is a excellent example of the distribution of wind slabs in complex alpine terrain. Expect similar conditions and wind slab distribution when skies clear tomorrow afternoon or Monday.
|0600 temperature:||14 deg. F.|
|Max. temperature in the last 24 hours:||20 deg. F.|
|Average wind direction during the last 24 hours:||WSW|
|Average wind speed during the last 24 hours:||40 mph|
|Maximum wind gust in the last 24 hours:||67 mph|
|New snowfall in the last 24 hours:||5 inches|
|Total snow depth:||28 inches|
Snow showers continue today with strong west and southwesterly winds blowing 30 to 40 mph range along the high ridges. Temperatures will reach the mid 20's today. Snowfall totals of 6 to 8" are expected by tomorrow morning.
This snowpack summary applies only to backcountry areas outside established ski area boundaries. This snowpack summary only describes general avalanche conditions and local variations always occur. This snowpack summary expires 24 hours after the posted time unless otherwise noted. The information in this snowpack summary is provided by the USDA Forest Service who is solely responsible for its content.