THIS AVALANCHE ADVISORY EXPIRED ON November 15, 2015 @ 6:59 am
Avalanche Advisory published on November 14, 2015 @ 6:59 am
Issued by Brandon Schwartz - Tahoe National Forest

Avalanche danger is LOW for all elevations and aspects. The possibility of lingering wind slabs remains in near and above treeline terrain. Shallow snow cover and rocks remain a significant hazard. On Sunday, a significant increase in avalanche danger is expected to occur as new snow accumulates across the forecast area.

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: Wind Slab
  • Type ?
  • Aspect/Elevation ?
  • Likelihood ?
    Certain
    Very Likely
    Likely
    Possible
    Unlikely
  • Size ?
    Historic
    Very Large
    Large
    Small

Wind slabs that formed at the beginning of the week are the main focus for potential instability today. The most recent skier triggered avalanche activity occurred on Wednesday in the Carson Pass area (more info). While several days have passed since the last known evidence of instability was reported, the forecast area is still fairly data sparse. Exercise normal caution and carefully evaluate previously wind loaded slopes for any signs of instability. Near and above treeline areas on shaded N-NE aspects with slope angles 35 degrees and steeper are the most suspect. At this point, obvious clues to instability are unlikely, so some snowpit work will be helpful in finding less obvious indications of instability.

advisory discussion

Significant amounts of snowmelt have occurred over the past few days on E-SE-S-SW-W aspects. Bare ground has emerged on these sunny aspects in numerous areas, especially below 9,000'. NW-N-NE aspects have remained cold and are generally faceting. Weak faceted snow exists in the lower half and/or at the bottom of the snowpack in a number of areas on northerly aspects above about 8,500'. Depending on the amount of new snow loading that occurs on Sunday, this faceted snow may or may not present as a deeper weak layer for potential avalanche activity.

Weather and CURRENT CONDITIONS
weather summary

Warm air temperatures and sunny skies are expected today ahead of an approaching weather system that will bring snow to the forecast area on Sunday. Expect maximum daytime air temperatures today to reach the low 40s to low 50s at elevation. Ridgetop winds are out of the southwest this morning and are starting to increase in speed ahead of the approaching trough. Expect moderate speed gusts today that will increase to strong to gale force in speed tonight into tomorrow. Expect snowfall to begin sometime in the vicinity of sunrise tomorrow, but that exact timing remains uncertain. Expected snowfall amounts remain uncertain as well, but the potential for 6 to 14 inches along the Sierra Crest is the current forecast.

Weather observations from along the Sierra Crest between 8200 ft. and 8800 ft.
0600 temperature: 32 to 41 deg. F.
Max. temperature in the last 24 hours: 49 to 57 deg. F.
Average wind direction during the last 24 hours: SW
Average wind speed during the last 24 hours: 15 mph
Maximum wind gust in the last 24 hours: 30 mph
New snowfall in the last 24 hours: 0 inches
Total snow depth: 8 to 18 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 skies. Clear skies, becoming partly cloudy. Cloudy skies with snow.
Temperatures: 45 to 52 deg. F. 22 to 29 deg. F. 25 to 32 deg. F.
Wind Direction: SW SW SW
Wind Speed: 15 to 25 with gutst to 30 mph. Gusts increasing to 40 mph in the afternoon. 30 to 40 mph with gusts to 60 mph. 45 to 50 mph with gusts to 85 mph, decreasing to 20 to 25 mph with gusts to 35 mph in the afternoon.
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. 3 to 6 in.
For 8000 ft. to 9000 ft.
Saturday Saturday Night Sunday
Weather: Sunny skies. Clear skies, becoming partly cloudy. Cloudy skies with snow.
Temperatures: 41 to 48 deg. F. 19 to 26 deg. F. 20 to 27 deg. F.
Wind Direction: SW SW SW
Wind Speed: 20 to 25 mph with gusts to 35 mph, increasing to 30 to 35 mph with gusts to 50 mph in the afternoon. 45 to 50 mph with gusts to 75 mph, increasing to 55 to 60 mph with gusts to 95 mph after midnight. 60 to 65 mph with gusts to 95 mph, decreasing to 30 to 35 mph with gusts to 50 mph in the afternoon.
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. 6 to 10 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.