THIS AVALANCHE ADVISORY EXPIRED ON March 13, 2014 @ 7:00 am
Avalanche Advisory published on March 12, 2014 @ 7:00 am
Issued by Andy Anderson - Tahoe National Forest

The avalanche danger remains LOW for all elevations and aspects. Remember areas of unstable snow may still exist on isolated terrain features during LOW danger. Small wind slabs may exist in extreme terrain. Loose wet snow instability will remain unlikely unless the temperatures climb higher than forecast and/or the cold east winds decrease.

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: Wind Slab
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Some small winds may exist on the SE-S-SW-W-NW aspects in exposed areas above treeline. These wind slabs should remain shallow and should not extend very far away from the ridgelines do to the small amounts of soft snow available for transport. In most areas they should not cause problems for backcountry travelers; however, terrain such as areas above cliff bands and and other terrain traps could magnify the consequences of a small avalanche.

Avalanche Problem 2: Loose Wet
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Cool temperatures and strong cold east winds should prevent any large loose wet snow instabilities from forming today. Some lower elevation sun-exposed southerly slopes may experience minor softening. If the winds decrease sooner than expected and/or temperatures climb higher than expected some loose wet instabilities may form on the SE-S-SW aspects especially in areas where soft snow or new wind deposited snow currently exists. This problem will re-surface tomorrow as temperatures climb and the winds decrease.

recent observations

Yesterday on Ralston Ridge and Incline Lake Peak the strong E and NE winds moved snow from the previously wind loaded N-NE-E aspects towards the S-SW-W aspects. However, this moving snow did not form significant deposits on those aspects. On the S-SW-W aspects of Incline Lake Peak the deepest areas of wind loaded snow only measured about 3 inches, and these only existed in small patches. The strong winds did scour the exposed N-NE-E aspects back to firm rain crusts in both the Ralston area and on Incline Lake Peak. Plumes of blowing snow were also visible along the Sierra Crest during the day yesterday.

Below treeline on more sheltered slopes 2-3 inches of soft snow existed above a firm supportable crust on the northerly aspects on Incline Lake Peak. On the more southerly aspects the snow surface remained hard and frozen at all elevations on Incline Lake Peak and supportable and mostly frozen on Ralston.

Weather and CURRENT CONDITIONS
weather summary

A low pressure south of the region will allow the strong east winds to continue today. As a result temperatures should also remain relatively cool with daytime highs in the mid to upper 30's above 7000 ft. As this low pressure moves east and south tonight and tomorrow a high pressure ridge will settle over the forecast area bringing much warmer temperatures and lighter winds to the area tomorrow. The forecast calls for tomorrow's highs to climb into the upper 40's above 8000 ft and low 50's between 7000 and 8000 ft.

Weather observations from along the Sierra Crest between 8200 ft. and 8800 ft.
0600 temperature: 18 to 24 deg. F.
Max. temperature in the last 24 hours: 27 to 32 deg. F.
Average wind direction during the last 24 hours: East and north
Average wind speed during the last 24 hours: 40 to 50 mph
Maximum wind gust in the last 24 hours: 89 mph
New snowfall in the last 24 hours: 0 inches
Total snow depth: 43 to 55 inches
Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the Reno NWS
For 7000 ft. to 8000 ft.
Wednesday Wednesday Night Thursday
Weather: Sunny Clear Sunny
Temperatures: 35 to 42 deg. F. 25 to 30 deg. F. 48 to 55 deg. F.
Wind Direction: East East Variable
Wind Speed: 35 to 40 mph with gusts to 60 mph decreasing to 15 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph in the afternoon 10 to 15 mph with gusts to 25 mph in the evening becoming light overnight Light
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. 0 in.
For 8000 ft. to 9000 ft.
Wednesday Wednesday Night Thursday
Weather: Sunny Clear Sunny
Temperatures: 30 to 38 deg. F. 20 to 30 deg. F. 42 to 49 deg. F.
Wind Direction: East East Northwest
Wind Speed: 50 to 55 mph with gusts to 85 mph decreasing to 30 to 35 mph with gusts to 55 mph in the afternoon 20 to 25 mph with gusts to 40 mph decreasing to 10 to 15 mph with gusts to 25 mph after midnight Light winds in the morning increasing to 10 to 15 mph in the afternoon
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.