THIS AVALANCHE ADVISORY EXPIRED ON January 27, 2015 @ 6:41 am
Avalanche Advisory published on January 26, 2015 @ 6:41 am
Issued by Brandon Schwartz - Tahoe National Forest

Avalanche danger remains 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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  • Aspect/Elevation ?
  • Likelihood ?
    Certain
    Very Likely
    Likely
    Possible
    Unlikely
  • Size ?
    Historic
    Very Large
    Large
    Small

A decent to strong snow surface refreeze is expected to have occurred again last night driven mostly by radiational cooling under clear skies. Sunny skies this morning and above freezing air temperatures at sunrise will allow wet surface snow to form in sun exposed areas as the morning progresses. As cloud cover increases from south to north over the forecast area today, the rate of surface wet snow formation will slow during the afternoon hours as compared to recent days. This is expected to keep areas of surface wet snow instability from forming today. If cloud cover does not materialize by early afternoon as forecast, isolated areas of small and generally inconsequential surface wet snow instability may form on steep sun exposed slopes.

Other hazards to manage today include exposed rocks on southerly aspects and difficult to travel firm icy surfaces on near and above treeline northerly aspects.

recent observations

Observations made yesterday on Waterhouse Peak (Luther Pass area) showed very thin snow cover below 8,000' making over snow travel difficult. Above 8,000' snowpack depth increased rapidly and over snow travel conditions were very manageable. This is representative of areas on the east side of Lake Tahoe. On the west side of the lake, decent snow cover is generally found above 7,200' to 7,500'. On Waterhouse Peak, fairly well developed near surface facets were noted above 8,000' on shaded northerly aspects in this area. With no major new snow loading events in the forecast, this is not an immediate concern. Otherwise, the snowpack was well bonded with good stability in the mid and basal layers. Wet surface snow up to 1 inch deep was observed on E aspects at 9,000' at 11 am. Shaded areas on northerly aspects held a thin surface crust from past melt-freeze cycles.

Weather and CURRENT CONDITIONS
weather summary

Mid and high level cloud cover will increase over the forecast area from south to north today ahead of a weak weather system approaching from Baja, MX. Sunny skies this morning will give way to mostly cloudy skies this afternoon. An air temperature inversion is once again in place this morning. Air temperatures are in the upper 30s to low 40s at 7,000' to 10,000' and in the 20s to low 30s below 7,000'. Maximum daytime air temperatures are forecast to reach the low 40s to low 50s today for areas above 7,000'. Ridgetop winds remain out of the east and decreased to light in speed overnight. Light to moderate SE winds area expected today with light winds tomorrow. Precipitation is expected to begin from south to north over the forecast area after midnight with the current forecast for a couple inches of snow above 7,000' by the end of the day on Tuesday. 

Weather observations from along the Sierra Crest between 8200 ft. and 8800 ft.
0600 temperature: 38 to 41 deg. F.
Max. temperature in the last 24 hours: 48 to 53 deg. F.
Average wind direction during the last 24 hours: East
Average wind speed during the last 24 hours: 27 mph
Maximum wind gust in the last 24 hours: 54 mph
New snowfall in the last 24 hours: 0 inches
Total snow depth: 22 to 32 inches
Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the Reno NWS
For 7000 ft. to 8000 ft.
Monday Monday Night Tuesday
Weather: Sunny skies becoming mostly cloudy. Cloudy skies with a chance of rain and snow after midnight. Cloudy skies with light snowfall.
Temperatures: 45 to 52 deg. F. 23 to 30 deg. F. 27 to 34 deg. F.
Wind Direction: SE Variable Variable
Wind Speed: 10 to 15 mph with gusts to 25 mph. Light winds Light winds
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 to trace in. 1 to 2 in.
For 8000 ft. to 9000 ft.
Monday Monday Night Tuesday
Weather: Sunny skies becoming mostly cloudy. Cloudy skies with a slight chance of snow in the evening. A chance of snow after midnight. Cloudy skies with light snowfall.
Temperatures: 42 to 49 deg. F. 21 to 28 deg. F. 23 to 30 deg. F.
Wind Direction: SE Variable becoming NW after midnight. Variable
Wind Speed: 10 to 20 mph with gusts to 35 mph. 10 to 15 mph Light winds
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 to 1 in. 1 to 2 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.