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|Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.||Natural and human-triggered avalanches unlikely.||Small avalanches in isolated areas or extreme terrain.|
Like yesterday a clear calm night allowed cold air to settle into the valleys. Air temperatures at the lower elevations this morning registered in the 20's, while air temperatures along the ridges above 8000 ft. measured in the 30's. Temperarutes will warm up again today due to the strong high pressure over the region. Expect daytime highs about 5 degrees warmer than yesterday's temperatures. The daily warming trend should continue tomorrow with daytime highs expected to climb another few degrees. The forecast also calls for light east winds today and tomorrow.
Cold, soft, unconsolidated snow still remained on sheltered northerly aspects in the Castle Peak area yesterday. Snowpit data, ski cuts, and general observations on the NW-N-NE aspects did not reveal any signs of instability and all indicated that snowpack continues to strengthen. Exposed slopes near ridge lines on the N-NE aspects held wind scoured icy surfaces on their upper sections. These scoured conditions quickly gave way to the soft unconsolidated snow down slope from the ridges. A breakable sun crust exsited on some ENE, E, W, and WNW slopes, and wet sticky snow existed in other places on these aspects. On the more sun exposed SE-S-SW aspects, wet surface snow was widespread. Ski cuts did trigger some small isolated pinwheels less than 10 inches in diameter on some steep S aspects.
More sunny warm weather today will create wet surface snow on any sun-exposed aspects. The solid overnight refreeze, gradual warming over the last several days, and light east winds will help prevent large wet snow instabilities from forming, but today's warming should create enough wet snow for some small isolated loose wet snow instabilities to form on some sun-exposed slopes. Roller balls and pinwheels should comprise the majority of today's loose wet snow instabilities. Small isolated loose wet avalanches may also become possible on the most sun-exposed aspects. These instabilities should not involve enough snow to bury a person, but they could push someone off course or knock a person over. Large loose wet avalanches and wet slab avalanches will remain unlikely. Wet snow instabilities will be most prevalent on sun-exposed E-SE-S-SW-W aspects steeper than 37 degrees.
|0600 temperature:||30 to 36 deg. F.|
|Max. temperature in the last 24 hours:||40 to 47 deg. F.|
|Average wind direction during the last 24 hours:||Southwest shifting to east|
|Average wind speed during the last 24 hours:||10 to 15 mph|
|Maximum wind gust in the last 24 hours:||23 mph|
|New snowfall in the last 24 hours:||0 inches|
|Total snow depth:||35 to 48 inches|
This avalanche advisory is provided through a partnership between the Tahoe National Forest and the Sierra Avalanche Center. This advisory covers the Central Sierra Nevada Mountains between Yuba Pass on the north and Ebbetts Pass on the south. Click here for a map of the forecast area. This advisory applies only to backcountry areas outside established ski area boundaries. This advisory describes general avalanche conditions and local variations always occur. This advisory expires 24 hours after the posted time unless otherwise noted. The information in this advisory is provided by the USDA Forest Service who is solely responsible for its content.