THIS AVALANCHE ADVISORY EXPIRED ON February 16, 2015 @ 6:30 am
Avalanche Advisory published on February 15, 2015 @ 6:30 am
Issued by Andy Anderson - Tahoe National Forest

Avalanche danger should remain LOW for all elevations and aspects again today. Some small loose wet avalanches may become possible on isolated terrain features on slopes 37 degrees and steeper. While larger loose wet avalanches remain unlikely, they are not impossible. Use normal caution when traveling in the backcountry.

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: Loose Wet
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  • Likelihood ?
    Certain
    Very Likely
    Likely
    Possible
    Unlikely
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    Very Large
    Large
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Clear skies and slightly cooler overnight lows should have allowed a better overnight refreeze. Cooler daytime highs and light east to northeast winds should work to slow down the daytime thaw, but today's sunny skies and warm temperatures will still provide enough warmth for wet snow to form. Human triggered roller balls and pinwheels should represent the majority of the wet snow instabilities that form today, but some isolated loose wet avalanches may also become possible. In most areas these wet snow issues should remain small and not involve much snow, but a few larger loose wet avalanches may be possible on some isolated terrain features. The sun-exposed E-SE-S-SW-W aspects will represent the best places to find wet snow instabilities today.

recent observations

Yesterday on Rubicon Peak, some small skier triggered roller balls and pinwheels occurred on steep E-SE facing slopes between 8000 and 9000 ft. Farther south on Carson Pass, some skier triggered roller balls up to 12 inches occurred on sheltered S facing slopes between 8400 and 9300 ft. In both of these areas, 2 inches of wet soft snow existed above a supportable base on exposed E-SE-S aspects while more sheltered areas still held deeper, wet, sticky snow that has not transitioned all the way to corn snow.

On northerly aspects on Rubicon Peak, a frozen melt freeze crust had formed on the surface in most places with a few areas of soft cold snow remaining above 8700 ft. and some areas of wet surface snow below 8300 ft. Snow cover below 8000 ft. remains sparse on Rubicon Peak. Snowpit data indicated a strong snowpack with good bonding on the northerly aspects.

Weather and CURRENT CONDITIONS
weather summary

A strong high pressure ridge will keep the weather clear and sunny this week. The winds shifted to the east last night and should continue out of the east and northeast today as the ridge strengthens. These east and northeast winds should remain light. Slightly cooler daytime highs today and tomorrow will represent the main effect of this northeasterly flow. The forecast calls for daytime highs in the upper 40's and maybe low 50's today and mid to upper 40's tomorrow above 7000 ft.

Weather observations from along the Sierra Crest between 8200 ft. and 8800 ft.
0600 temperature: 33 to 39 deg. F.
Max. temperature in the last 24 hours: 47 to 54 deg. F.
Average wind direction during the last 24 hours: Southwest shifting to east last night
Average wind speed during the last 24 hours: 10 to 20 mph
Maximum wind gust in the last 24 hours: 34 mph
New snowfall in the last 24 hours: 0 inches
Total snow depth: 30 to 45 inches
Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the Reno NWS
For 7000 ft. to 8000 ft.
Sunday Sunday Night Monday
Weather: Sunny Clear Sunny
Temperatures: 46 to 53 deg. F. 25 to 32 deg. F. 44 to 51 deg. F.
Wind Direction: East Variable Variable
Wind Speed: 10 to 15 mph with gusts to 25 mph in the afternoon Light Light
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. 0 in.
For 8000 ft. to 9000 ft.
Sunday Sunday Night Monday
Weather: Sunny Clear Sunny
Temperatures: 44 to 51 deg. F. 26 to 33 deg. F. 41 to 48 deg. F.
Wind Direction: East Southwest West shifting to the northeast in the afternoon
Wind Speed: 10 to 15 mph with gusts to 25 mph in the afternoon 0 to 5 mph increasing to 10 to 15 mph after midnight 10 to 15 mph with gusts to 25 mph
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.