THIS AVALANCHE ADVISORY EXPIRED ON December 31, 2015 @ 6:59 am
Avalanche Advisory published on December 30, 2015 @ 6:59 am
Issued by Steve Reynaud - Tahoe National Forest

Avalanche danger remains low on all aspects and elevations.  Changing wind directions over the last several days have redistributed snow near and above treeline.  Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.  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

Winds shifted to the NW yesterday and were strong enough to move snow over the higher peaks and ridges to NE-E-SE aspects near and above treeline.  Any additional wind slab development today is expected to be small, isolated, and limited to exposed wind prone areas.  Snow available for wind transport remains low, but small isolated wind slabs could still exist.  Look for blowing snow, wind pillows, areas below cornices and ridges, and snow surface clues to see which way the wind has been moving snow in your area.

Use basic travel techniques to help mitigate risk.  Avoid areas of unstable snow, only expose one person at a time to avalanche terrain, regroup in safe spots out of the avalanche path, avoid terrain traps, and communicate within your group.

recent observations

Recent observations across the forecast area have been showing a snowpack that is transitioning from an early season to a mid winter snowpack.  Most areas have significant depth and uniform layering.  Yesterday, at Negro Canyon (Donner Summit area) and on Talking Mountain (Echo Summit area) small shooting cracks occurred with the weight of a skier in wind loaded terrain.  On Talking Mountain a small avalanche was observed off of the ridge above Cup Lake.  Time of occurrence and trigger were unknown but appeared to be older.  On Meiss Ridge (Carson Pass area), Hidden Peak (West Shore area) and Castle Peak (Donner Summit area) unconsolidated snow remains on all aspects below treeline.  Above treeline snow surface conditions consisted of a mix of scoured areas of exposed rain crust and pockets of wind deposits up to 6'' deep. 

Weather and CURRENT CONDITIONS
weather summary

A weak inside slider type storm will move through the forecast area this morning bringing limited snow showers.  We can expect mostly cloudy conditions throughout the day with chances of up to 1'' of new snow.  Winds will continue to be from the NW at 25 to 30mph with gusts to 45mph above 8000' with temperatures in the high teens to low 20's. This disturbance quickly exits our area tonight and winds will shift to the east with much colder air entering the region.

Weather observations from along the Sierra Crest between 8200 ft. and 8800 ft.
0600 temperature: 12 deg. F.
Max. temperature in the last 24 hours: 21 deg. F.
Average wind direction during the last 24 hours: NW
Average wind speed during the last 24 hours: 20 to 30 mph
Maximum wind gust in the last 24 hours: 51 mph
New snowfall in the last 24 hours: 0 inches
Total snow depth: 48 to 60 inches
Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the Reno NWS
For 7000 ft. to 8000 ft.
Wednesday Wednesday Night Thursday
Weather: Mostly cloudy. Isolated snow showers throughout the day. Partly cloudy. Sunny
Temperatures: 22 to 29 deg. F. 4 to 12 deg. F. 18 to 25 deg. F.
Wind Direction: NW E E
Wind Speed: 10 to 20mph with gusts to 25mph. 10 to 15mph with gusts to 25mph. 10 to 15mph with gusts to 25mph in the afternoon.
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. 0 in.
For 8000 ft. to 9000 ft.
Wednesday Wednesday Night Thursday
Weather: Partly cloudy. Isolated show showers through the day. Partly cloudy. Partly cloudy then becoming sunny.
Temperatures: 19 to 26 deg. F. 3 to 10 deg. F. 16 to 23 deg. F.
Wind Direction: NW E E
Wind Speed: 25 to 30mph with gusts to 45mph, decreasing to 20 to 25mph with gusts to 35mph in the afternoon. 15 to 25mph with gusts to 35mph decreasing to 30mph after midnight. 15 to 20mph with gusts to 30mph.
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.