THIS AVALANCHE ADVISORY EXPIRED ON March 25, 2016 @ 6:53 am
Avalanche Advisory published on March 24, 2016 @ 6:53 am
Issued by Andy Anderson - Tahoe National Forest

MODERATE avalanche danger will form on sun-exposed E-SE-S-SW-W aspects steeper than 35 degrees at all elevations as loose wet avalanches become possible due to daytime warming today. Enough warming may also occur on the low elevation NW-N-NE aspects for some loose wet activity as well. Some loose wet snow avalanches could entrain enough snow to pose a threat to backcountry travelers today especially in areas where terrain traps exist. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully and identify features of concern. 

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.

2. Moderate

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Below Treeline
Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.
    Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.
Avalanche Problem 1: Loose Wet
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    Very Likely
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    Possible
    Unlikely
  • Size ?
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    Very Large
    Large
    Small

More strong March sunshine and warmer daytime highs will melt through last night's refreeze and allow a deeper layer of wet snow to form on sun-exposed slopes today. Loose wet avalanches involving this wet snow will become possible again today. Small roller balls, pinwheels, and point releases should comprise the majority of the loose wet avalanches today, but enough loose wet snow could form for some larger loose wet avalanches to occur. Some of the loose wet avalanches could entrain enough snow to cause problems for backcountry travelers. Slopes steeper than 35 degrees on sun-exposed E-SE-S-SW-W aspects at all elevations will hold the best potential for loose wet activity since they should experience the most warming, but some of the lower elevation NW-N-NE aspects could also see enough sun for some wet snow issues to form.

Signs of more problematic loose wet avalanche activity include sinking into wet snow above your boot tops and small surface instabilities like roller balls, pinwheels, or point releases. Once the surface snow becomes wet and deep it's time to change aspects to find more frozen slopes or move off and away from slopes that are 35 degrees or steeper. Terrain traps like gullies, creeks, and cliffs can greatly increase the risk of any size loose wet avalanches.

recent observations

Yesterday observations on Tamarack Peak and Incline Lake Peak in the Mt. Rose area and on Rubicon and Jakes Peak on the West Shore found similar conditions. Observers reported minor scouring near upper elevation ridgelines from overnight winds and little to no wind transport during the day. Signs of settlement and consolidation existed in all of these areas on the northerly aspects at all elevations. The snow on the upper elevation northerly aspects remained cold and soft in these areas yesterday. Heavy, wet, sticky snow had formed on sun exposed aspects including the lower elevation N aspects by mid day, and some roller balls and pinwheels occurred on the E-SE-S-SW aspects at all elevations yesterday. 

Weather and CURRENT CONDITIONS
weather summary

A calm clear night allowed colder air to settle into the valleys. This morning remote sensors at the lower elevations reported temperatures in the mid to upper 20's, while upper elevation sensors showed warmer temperatures in 30's. This inversion should lift quickly today in the mountains as the day warms up. The high pressure over the region will keep the weather sunny, dry, and warm through tomorrow. The winds should remain light to moderate today and tonight before they start to increase some tomorrow afternoon. 

Weather observations from along the Sierra Crest between 8200 ft. and 8800 ft.
0600 temperature: 30 to 38 deg. F.
Max. temperature in the last 24 hours: 38 to 47 deg. F.
Average wind direction during the last 24 hours: North to west
Average wind speed during the last 24 hours: 5 to 10 mph
Maximum wind gust in the last 24 hours: 27 mph
New snowfall in the last 24 hours: 0 inches
Total snow depth: 82 to 121 inches
Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the Reno NWS
For 7000 ft. to 8000 ft.
Thursday Thursday Night Friday
Weather: Sunny Clear to partly cloudy Sunny becoming partly cloudy
Temperatures: 42 to 49 deg. F. 21 to 28 deg. F. 42 to 49 deg. F.
Wind Direction: West Northwest West
Wind Speed: 15 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph 15 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph 15 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph increasing to 20 to 30 mph with gusts to 40 mph in the afternoon
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. 0 in.
For 8000 ft. to 9000 ft.
Thursday Thursday Night Friday
Weather: Sunny Clear to partly cloudy Sunny becoming partly cloudy
Temperatures: 39 to 46 deg. F. 22 to 29 deg. F. 43 to 49 deg. F.
Wind Direction: West Northwest West
Wind Speed: 15 to 25 mph with gusts to 35 mph 20 to 30 mph with gusts to 40 mph 20 to 30 mph with gusts to 40 mph increasing to 25 to 35 mph with gusts to 50 mph in the afternoon.
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.

For a recorded version of the Avalanche Advisory call (530) 587-3558 x258