THIS AVALANCHE ADVISORY EXPIRED ON February 22, 2014 @ 6:44 am
Avalanche Advisory published on February 21, 2014 @ 6:44 am
Issued by Brandon Schwartz - Tahoe National Forest

Avalanche danger is LOW for all elevations and aspects. 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
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  • Aspect/Elevation ?
  • Likelihood ?
    Certain
    Very Likely
    Likely
    Possible
    Unlikely
  • Size ?
    Historic
    Very Large
    Large
    Small

Avalanche concerns for today are few. Recent observations have given several days worth of stable snowpack data. Small, isolated wind slabs in recently wind loaded areas above treeline and small loose wet avalanches during the late afternoon hours are the unlikely but not impossible avalanche problems today. Areas of complex or extreme terrain including unsupported slopes above cliff bands are the most likely locations for an isolated event to occur. Continue to exercise caution and utilize accepted best practice backcountry travel techniques to stack the odds in favor of survival against an unexpected human triggered avalanche.

recent observations

Observations made yesterday on Castle Peak (Donner Summit area) revealed more evidence of stable wind slabs and minimal wet snow concerns. This matched well with other observations from around the forecast area over the past few days. While a relative weak layer of lower density snow remains prominent just below surface wind slabs, formal and informal tests indicate that propagation following a collapse of this relative weak layer is unlikely and that bonding to the layers both above and below remains strong.

Surface wet snow that forms in response to daytime heating remains limited to the top one to three inches of the snowpack in most areas on SE-S-SW aspects. In general, the snowpack on these aspects remains supportable into the mid to late afternoon hours. Isolated pockets of less supportable wet snow have been noted in areas where the snowpack is comparatively shallow.

Weather and CURRENT CONDITIONS
weather summary

High pressure off the coast will move inland across the forecast area over the next few days. This will keep a mix of sunny skies and high level clouds, light to moderate speed westerly winds, and mild air temperatures in the forecast through this weekend. Maximum daytime air temperatures above 7,000' are forecast to reach to upper 30s to mid 40s today and tomorrow.

Weather observations from along the Sierra Crest between 8200 ft. and 8800 ft.
0600 temperature: 31 to 33 deg. F.
Max. temperature in the last 24 hours: 39 to 45 deg. F.
Average wind direction during the last 24 hours: Southwest
Average wind speed during the last 24 hours: 17 mph
Maximum wind gust in the last 24 hours: 32 mph
New snowfall in the last 24 hours: 0 inches
Total snow depth: 37 to 47 inches
Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the Reno NWS
For 7000 ft. to 8000 ft.
Friday Friday Night Saturday
Weather: Sunny skies becoming partly cloudy. Partly cloudy skies. Sunny skies.
Temperatures: 38 to 45 deg. F. 20 to 25 deg. F. 39 to 46 deg. F.
Wind Direction: Southwest West West
Wind Speed: 10 to 15 mph 10 to 15 mph in the evening becoming light. Light winds
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. 0 in.
For 8000 ft. to 9000 ft.
Friday Friday Night Saturday
Weather: Sunny skies becoming partly cloudy. Partly cloudy skies. Sunny skies.
Temperatures: 38 to 44 deg. F. 20 to 27 deg. F. 39 to 45 deg. F.
Wind Direction: Southwest West West
Wind Speed: 15 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph. 15 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph. 10 to 15 mph with gusts to 25 mph in the morning becoming light.
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. 0 in.
Disclaimer

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.