THIS AVALANCHE ADVISORY EXPIRED ON February 22, 2015 @ 6:57 am
Avalanche Advisory published on February 21, 2015 @ 6:57 am
Issued by Andy Anderson - Tahoe National Forest

The avalanche danger should remain LOW at all elevations and on all aspects today. Many of the northerly aspects should remain firm and frozen while other sun-exposed aspects should experience some minor surface softening. Continue to 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: Normal Caution
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  • Aspect/Elevation ?
  • Likelihood ?
    Certain
    Very Likely
    Likely
    Possible
    Unlikely
  • Size ?
    Historic
    Very Large
    Large
    Small

Cooler temperatures and clear skies last night should have allowed the snowpack to undergo a decent overnight refreeze. Northerly winds and slightly cooler daytime highs should help to slow down the melting that occurs today. Despite the cooler, breezier weather, the sunshine and daytime highs in the 40's should provide enough warmth for some soft surface snow to form the sun-exposed E-SE-S-SW-W aspects today. Due to the limited daytime warming, the February sun angles, and the fact that the snowpack has already experienced numerous melt-freeze cycles wet snow should remain limited to the top few inches of the snowpack. Significant wet snow instabilities should not form today. Shaded northerly aspects should remain frozen today.

recent observations

On the west side of Red Lake Peak yesterday, only patches of snow cover remained on the SE-S-SW aspects. Large areas of typically snow covered slopes now have exposed ground. In the areas on the SE-S-SW aspects where snow did remain, 2-3 inches of soft corn snow existed on a well-consolidated and supportable snowpack. On northerly aspects more consistent snow cover exists with frozen firm crusts on the surface. Ski cuts, observations, and snowpit data did not reveal any signs of significant wet snow instabilities or other instabilities on any aspects.

Weather and CURRENT CONDITIONS
weather summary

Mostly sunny skies with daytime highs in the 40's above 7000 ft. should start to give way to cooler temperatures and partly cloudy conditions this afternoon and evening as a cold front begins to impact the region from the north. The northerly winds should continue today and should start increasing as this system gets closer. This cold system should also cause temperatures to fall dramatically tonight and tomorrow with overnight lows in the teens tonight and daytime highs in the 20's tomorrow above 7000 ft. Some snow showers could accompany this system and a slight chance of snow showers does exist for tonight. Chances for snow improve during the day tomorrow, and the forecast area could see some light accumulations. The forecast calls for up to 2 inches tomorrow with a slight chance of 2-4 inches. Most of the accumulation and snow showers should remain focused south of Highway 50 with areas north of Highway 50 receiving less snow.

Weather observations from along the Sierra Crest between 8200 ft. and 8800 ft.
0600 temperature: 30 to 37 deg. F.
Max. temperature in the last 24 hours: 45 to 51 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: 20 mph
New snowfall in the last 24 hours: 0 inches
Total snow depth: 27 to 43 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 becoming partly cloudy this afternoon Mostly cloudy with a slight chance of snow especially south of Lake Tahoe Mostly cloudy with a chance of snow especially south of Lake Tahoe
Temperatures: 42 to 48 deg. F. 15 to 22 deg. F. 22 to 29 deg. F.
Wind Direction: North Northeast Northeast
Wind Speed: 15 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph 10 to 15 mph with gusts to 25 mph after midnight 15 to 25 mph with gusts to 35 mph
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. up to 2 in. | South of Lake Tahoe has a chance for 2-4 in.
For 8000 ft. to 9000 ft.
Saturday Saturday Night Sunday
Weather: Sunny becoming partly cloudy this afternoon Mostly cloudy with a slight chance of snow especially south of Lake Tahoe Mostly cloudy with a chance of snow especially south of Lake Tahoe
Temperatures: 38 to 44 deg. F. 12 to 19 deg. F. 21 to 27 deg. F.
Wind Direction: Northwest North shifting to the northeast Northeast
Wind Speed: 20 to 30 mph with gusts to 45 mph 10 to 15 mph with gusts to 25 mph increasing to 20 to 25 mph with gusts to 35 mph after midnight 15 to 25 mph with gusts to 30 mph increasing to 40 mph in the afternoon
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. up to 2 in. | South of Lake Tahoe has a chance for 2-4 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.