THIS AVALANCHE ADVISORY EXPIRED ON January 5, 2015 @ 6:44 am
Avalanche Advisory published on January 4, 2015 @ 6:44 am
Issued by Andy Anderson - Tahoe National Forest

LOW avalanche danger exists on all elevations and aspects. Continue to use normal caution and practice safe travel habits 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
  • Type ?
  • Aspect/Elevation ?
  • Likelihood ?
    Certain
    Very Likely
    Likely
    Possible
    Unlikely
  • Size ?
    Historic
    Very Large
    Large
    Small

A strong well bonded snowpack with a weaker snow near the surface and no slab above this weaker snow means that natural and human triggered avalanches remain unlikely today. Unlikely does not mean impossible and small isolated areas of unstable snow could linger on isolated terrain features especially in complex or extreme terrain like couliors, gullies, areas around cliffs, or unsupported slopes. Practice safe travel habits like traveling one at a time in avalanche terrain and regrouping in safe zones. Other backcountry hazards remain including icy conditions on some exposed near and above treeline slopes and a shallow snowpack with lots of obstacles.

recent observations

Observations from Red Lake Peak, Becker Peak, Deep Creek, and Donner Summit yesterday continued to show variable conditions. The most consistent conditions existed on northerly aspects sheltered from the N-NE winds where several inches of soft unconsolidated snow exists above a deteriorating rain crust. On the sun exposed S-SW-W aspects on Red Lake, Becker, and on the south side of the Deep Creek Ridge, warm air temps combined with the sunshine to melt the snow surface leaving soft wet snow on the surface in some areas. Firm scoured crusts still existed on slopes exposed to the N-NE winds in all of these areas especially on near and above treeline N-NE-E aspects. Below the upper rain crust a thin weak layer that could become a future problem continues to form in all of these areas. Snowpit data indicates a strong and well bonded snowpack below that thin weak layer. Observations from Becker Peak and Deep Creek show a shallow snowpack below 7500 ft. with very little snowpack below 7000 ft.

Weather and CURRENT CONDITIONS
weather summary

A low pressure system moving through the Pacific Northwest may push some clouds into the forecast area. Some clouds could remain through tomorrow, but they should begin to clear out as the high pressure ridge near the west coast moves onshore. The winds shifted to the southwest and west yesterday and should remain light to moderate for the next few days. Expect continued warming with daytime highs today and tomorrow in the 40's to low 50's above 7000 ft. Cold air that has settled into the valleys may cause temperatures to remain cooler at some of the lower elevations.

Weather observations from along the Sierra Crest between 8200 ft. and 8800 ft.
0600 temperature: 28 to 36 deg. F.
Max. temperature in the last 24 hours: 40 to 46 deg. F.
Average wind direction during the last 24 hours: North shifting to southwest yesterday around noon
Average wind speed during the last 24 hours: 15 mph
Maximum wind gust in the last 24 hours: 32 mph
New snowfall in the last 24 hours: 0 inches
Total snow depth: 26 to 38 inches
Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the Reno NWS
For 7000 ft. to 8000 ft.
Sunday Sunday Night Monday
Weather: Mostly cloudy to partly cloudy Partly cloudy Partly cloudy to partly sunny
Temperatures: 45 to 51 deg. F. 22 to 30 deg. F. 45 to 52 deg. F.
Wind Direction: West West Southwest
Wind Speed: 15 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph 15 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph in the evening becoming light overnight 10 to 15 mph in the morning becoming light in the afternoon
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. 0 in.
For 8000 ft. to 9000 ft.
Sunday Sunday Night Monday
Weather: Mostly cloudy to partly cloudy Partly cloudy Partly cloudy to partly sunny
Temperatures: 38 to 45 deg. F. 27 to 33 deg. F. 44 to 51 deg. F.
Wind Direction: West West West
Wind Speed: 20 to 30 mph with gusts to 45 mph 15 to 30 mph with gusts to 45 mph decreasing to 15 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph after midnight 15 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 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.