THIS AVALANCHE ADVISORY EXPIRED ON January 19, 2014 @ 6:48 am
Avalanche Advisory published on January 18, 2014 @ 6:48 am
Issued by Andy Anderson - Tahoe National Forest

Avalanche danger remains LOW on snow covered NW-N-NE-E aspects. A few small areas of unstable snow may still exist on isolated terrain features. The avalanche danger on SE-S-SW-W aspects remains nonexistent due to a lack of snow.

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
  • Type ?
  • Aspect/Elevation ?
  • Likelihood ?
    Certain
    Very Likely
    Likely
    Possible
    Unlikely
  • Size ?
    Historic
    Very Large
    Large
    Small

The vast majority of data and observations from around the region indicate that triggering an avalanche remains unlikely. However, some variation still exists in day to day observations, and a few isolated results indicating instability still continue. Finding some unstable snow in the form of a small persistent slab or small wind slab on an isolated terrain feature on a NW-N-NE aspect is not impossible. Even though avalanches are unlikely, continue to evaluate the snowpack before committing to a slope and employ safe backcountry travel practices like traveling one at a time and spotting partners from known safe zones outside of any avalanche path. The shallow snowpack also has left numerous rocks, trees, stumps, logs and other obstacles exposed for people recreating in the backcountry to hit.

recent observations

Observations continue to show a shallow snowpack composed mostly of weak sugary snow on the NW-N-NE aspects. In some areas this shallow snowpack has small slab-like layers in it. On some near and above treeline slopes, isolated small and difficult-to-trigger wind slabs still rest on top of the pack. In other areas no slabs exist and weak unconsolidated snow comprises the whole snowpack. Yesterday in the Ophir Creek drainage, data and observations from areas that held both the small wind slabs and the older slab-like layers indicated that the snowpack can currently support itself as well as the additional load of people recreating on top of the snow. Snowpit tests still showed some variability, but overall, most tests and data pointed to a stable snowpack.

Weather and CURRENT CONDITIONS
weather summary

High pressure remains in place over the west coast. This ridge will keep the weather dry, calm, and clear until it departs. Expect daytime highs in the mountains in the upper 40's and low 50's with light winds both today and tomorrow.

Weather observations from along the Sierra Crest between 8200 ft. and 8800 ft.
0600 temperature: 30 to 43 deg. F.
Max. temperature in the last 24 hours: 50 to 55 deg. F.
Average wind direction during the last 24 hours: Variable
Average wind speed during the last 24 hours: 5 to 10 mph
Maximum wind gust in the last 24 hours: 32 mph
New snowfall in the last 24 hours: 0 inches
Total snow depth: 8 to 17 inches
Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the Reno NWS
For 7000 ft. to 8000 ft.
Saturday Saturday Night Sunday
Weather: Sunny Clear Sunny
Temperatures: 45 to 52 deg. F. 24 to 32 deg. F. 43 to 50 deg. F.
Wind Direction: Variable Variable Variable
Wind Speed: Light Light Light
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. 0 in.
For 8000 ft. to 9000 ft.
Saturday Saturday Night Sunday
Weather: Sunny Clear Sunny
Temperatures: 44 to 51 deg. F. 28 to 34 deg. F. 43 to 49 deg. F.
Wind Direction: Variable Variable shifting to the South after midnight Southwest
Wind Speed: Light 0 to 5 mph increasing to 10 to 15 mph after midnight 10 to 15 mph with gusts to 25 mph in the morning decreasing 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.