THIS AVALANCHE ADVISORY EXPIRED ON March 18, 2014 @ 6:35 am
Avalanche Advisory published on March 17, 2014 @ 6:35 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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  • Likelihood ?
    Certain
    Very Likely
    Likely
    Possible
    Unlikely
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    Historic
    Very Large
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    Small

This afternoon some areas of shallow wet surface snow will form, but the amount will be much less than what was observed over the past few days. Loose wet avalanches are unlikely today. Any isolated human triggered wet loose instability that may occur on SE-S-SW aspects today will be very small, inconsequential, and will not present a significant hazard to backcountry travelers.

recent observations

Observations made yesterday on Stevens Peak (Carson Pass area) and on Donner Peak (Donner Summit area) revealed evidence of a decent to good overnight snow surface refreeze. In response to daytime warming, 2 to 4 inches of wet surface snow had formed on E-SE-S-SW aspects at noon between 7,400' and 9,800'. By 2 pm on Donner Peak, 6 inches of wet surface snow existed below 7,600' and conditions were becoming unsupportable. Ski cuts on small test slopes at that time began to easily produce small loose wet avalanches. Snowpit data collected on Stevens Peak at 9,720' near the top of the snowfield on the SE side of the peak indicated that previous free water percolation had occurred full height through the 3.5 to 4 foot deep snowpack in the immediate area and that drainage was well established.

Weather and CURRENT CONDITIONS
weather summary

A cold front currently passing through the region has created strong winds and falling air temperatures. Winds aloft have mixed out the air temperature inversion that was in place yesterday morning. Air temperatures this morning between 7,000' and 9,600' are in the mid 20s to low 30s, about 15 degrees colder than 24 hours ago. Following frontal passage, ridgetop winds are forecast to shift from southwest to northwest and gradually decrease in speed through the afternoon hours. Maximum daytime air temperatures above 7,000' are forecast to reach the low 30s to mid 40s today. This is 10 to 15 degrees colder than the past two days.

Weather observations from along the Sierra Crest between 8200 ft. and 8800 ft.
0600 temperature: 25 to 32 deg. F.
Max. temperature in the last 24 hours: 45 to 55 deg. F.
Average wind direction during the last 24 hours: Southwest
Average wind speed during the last 24 hours: 38 mph
Maximum wind gust in the last 24 hours: 75 mph
New snowfall in the last 24 hours: 0 inches
Total snow depth: 43 to 53 inches
Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the Reno NWS
For 7000 ft. to 8000 ft.
Monday Monday Night Tuesday
Weather: Partly cloudy skies, becoming sunny. Clear skies. Sunny skies.
Temperatures: 39 to 45 deg. F. 16 to 26 deg. F. 34 to 41 deg. F.
Wind Direction: West shifting to northwest. Northeast Northeast
Wind Speed: 15 to 25 mph with gusts to 35 mph, decreasing to 10 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph in the afternoon. 5 to 15 mph with gusts to 25 mph. 5 to 15 mph in the morning, becoming light.
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. 0 in.
For 8000 ft. to 9000 ft.
Monday Monday Night Tuesday
Weather: Partly cloudy skies, becoming sunny. Clear skies. Sunny skies.
Temperatures: 33 to 41 deg. F. 16 to 23 deg. F. 32 to 39 deg. F.
Wind Direction: West shifting to northwest. Northeast Northeast
Wind Speed: 35 to 50 mph with gusts to 75 mph, decreasing to 10 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph in the afternoon. 15 to 20 mph with gusts to 35 mph. 10 to 20 mph. Gusts up to 35 mph in the morning.
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.