THIS AVALANCHE ADVISORY EXPIRED ON February 4, 2016 @ 6:54 am
Avalanche Advisory published on February 3, 2016 @ 6:54 am
Issued by Steve Reynaud - Tahoe National Forest

Avalanche danger remains Moderate on NW-N-NE-E-SE aspects near and above treeline due to potential wind slab avalanche problems.  S-SW-W aspects at all elevations and all aspects below treeline are rated Low avalanche danger.  Evaluate snow and terrain carefully and look for areas of unstable snow.

2. Moderate

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Above Treeline
Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.

2. Moderate

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Near Treeline
Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.

1. Low

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Below Treeline
Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.
    Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.
Avalanche Problem 1: Wind Slab
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  • Likelihood ?
    Certain
    Very Likely
    Likely
    Possible
    Unlikely
  • Size ?
    Historic
    Very Large
    Large
    Small

Another round of wind slab avalanche problems could affect our area today.  SW-W winds are forecasted to increase to the moderate to strong range by this afternoon with a significant amount of snow available for wind transport on the snow surface.  These wind slabs should be limited to N-NE-E aspects and potentially NW and SE aspects in near treeline and above treeline terrain.  Look for blowing snow, cornice formation, wind pillows, and snow surface clues to help identify suspect slopes.  In exposed near treeline and above treeline terrain, wind scoured snow surfaces and wind slabs could coexist in the same areas.

Areas of exposed rain crust on the snow surface are likely on windward aspects above treeline.  The potential exists for long sliding falls with very difficult self arrest conditions.

 

recent observations

Observations from Tamarack Peak (Mt. Rose area) and Rubicon Peak (West Shore area) showed a well bonded snowpack.  Minimal snow transport was observed in both locations with generally light W winds throughout the day.  Significant snow remains at both locations for future wind transport.

Flagpole Peak (Echo Summit area) showed similar conditions with minimal wind transport.  Some wind slab development was seen near ridgeline from the previous day.  Sluffing was observed within the recent storm snow on northerly aspects above 35 degrees in steepness.

Weather and CURRENT CONDITIONS
weather summary

Light snowfall is expected this afternoon and tonight as a low pressure system makes it way through the northern Sierra.  Forecast calls for up to 3'' of snow with this system exiting the region early Thursday morning.  Winds will build throughout the day and be from the W/SW in the moderate to strong range above 8000'.  High pressure will build into the area with milder temperatures and drier conditions into early next week.

 

Weather observations from along the Sierra Crest between 8200 ft. and 8800 ft.
0600 temperature: 13 to 17 deg. F.
Max. temperature in the last 24 hours: 26 deg. F.
Average wind direction during the last 24 hours: W to NW
Average wind speed during the last 24 hours: 5 to 10 mph
Maximum wind gust in the last 24 hours: 30 mph
New snowfall in the last 24 hours: Trace to 2 inches
Total snow depth: 72 to 86 inches
Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the Reno NWS
For 7000 ft. to 8000 ft.
Wednesday Wednesday Night Thursday
Weather: Mostly cloudy. Scattered snow showers in the afternoon. Mostly cloudy. Scattered snow showers. Mostly cloudy.
Temperatures: 26 to 33 deg. F. 16 to 24 deg. F. 27 to 34 deg. F.
Wind Direction: SW SW SW
Wind Speed: Light winds becoming SW 10 to 15mph with gusts to 25mph. 15 to 25mph with gusts to 40mph decreasing to 30mph after midnight. 10 to 15mph in the morning becoming light.
Expected snowfall: Trace in. Up to 2 in. 0 in.
For 8000 ft. to 9000 ft.
Wednesday Wednesday Night Thursday
Weather: Mostly cloudy. Scattered snow showers in the afternoon. Mostly cloudy. Scattered snow showers. Mostly cloudy.
Temperatures: 24 to 31 deg. F. 13 to 20 deg. F. 23 to 30 deg. F.
Wind Direction: W SW W to NE
Wind Speed: 15 to 25mph with gusts to 40mph. 30 to 35mph with gusts to 50mph becoming West 20 to 25mph with gusts to 40mph after midnight. West 20 to 25mph with gusts to 35mph becoming NE 10 to 15mph with gusts to 25mph in the afternoon.
Expected snowfall: Trace in. Up to 2 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.