THIS AVALANCHE ADVISORY EXPIRED ON March 31, 2016 @ 6:50 am
Avalanche Advisory published on March 30, 2016 @ 6:50 am
Issued by Steve Reynaud - Tahoe National Forest

Low danger exists on all aspects and elevations this morning.  As daytime warming occurs and as slopes receive direct sun, avalanche danger will rise to Moderate on E-SE-S-SW-W aspects due to the possibility of loose wet avalanches.  Most of these loose wet avalanches will be in the form of point releases, pinwheels, and roller balls.  Evaluate terrain and monitor changing conditions in your area.   

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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    Certain
    Very Likely
    Likely
    Possible
    Unlikely
  • Size ?
    Historic
    Very Large
    Large
    Small

More sun and slightly warming temperatures will increase the chances for loose wet instabilities today.  Most of these instabilities will be in the form of roller balls, point releases or pinwheels and could occur on E-SE-S-SW-W aspects at all elevations on slopes steeper than 35 degrees.  In areas that receive large periods of sun with intense solar radiation, expect more widespread loose wet activity to occur.  The size of these loose wet avalanches could be much larger north of Hwy. 50 where we received more recent storm snow.

Look for small surface instabilities like roller balls, pinwheels, or point releases. Once the surface snow becomes wet it's time to change aspects and 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

Observations were made and received yesterday from Tamarack Peak (Mt. Rose area) and Blue Lakes (Carson Pass area).  The Tamarack Peak area showed settlement of the recent storm snow with improved bonding to the underlying melt freeze crust.  Signs of wind scouring from NW winds were present with small wind slabs noted on SE aspects along ridgelines.  Sunny skies were present with little signs of loose wet instabilities.  Sun crusts were developing on all solar aspects.

At Blue Lakes there were large periods of sun throughout the morning and into the early afternoon.  Much less recent storm snow fell this far south with 2-3'' of snow on top of a supportable melt freeze crust.  Very minor evidence of any wind occurring in this area with no signs of wind slab development.  Small roller balls were occurring on E-SE aspects by mid day. 

Weather and CURRENT CONDITIONS
weather summary

The upper low over eastern Nevada will weaken and slowly exit the area this afternoon.  The recent snow flurries will diminish with a slight chance of snow showers south of Hwy. 50 this afternoon with little to no accumulation expected.  Some cloud cover throughout the day should keep temperatures on the cool side.  Temperatures are forecasted to be in the mid 20's to mid 30's above 7000' with NE winds 15 to 25mph and potentially gusting up to 30 to 40mph in the afternoon.  Warmer and dryer conditions are expected late this week and into the weekend.

Weather observations from along the Sierra Crest between 8200 ft. and 8800 ft.
0600 temperature: 18 to 26 deg. F.
Max. temperature in the last 24 hours: 33 deg. F.
Average wind direction during the last 24 hours: NE
Average wind speed during the last 24 hours: 15 to 20 mph
Maximum wind gust in the last 24 hours: 35 mph
New snowfall in the last 24 hours: 0 to trace inches
Total snow depth: 79 to 113 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. Isolated snow showers. Partly cloudy then becoming clear. Isolated snow showers in the evening. Sunny.
Temperatures: 33 to 38 deg. F. 19 to 26 deg. F. 42 to 49 deg. F.
Wind Direction: NE NE E
Wind Speed: 10 to 15mph with gusts to 25mph. 10 to 15mph with gusts to 25mph. 10 to 15mph with gusts to 25mph in the morning becoming light.
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. 0 in.
For 8000 ft. to 9000 ft.
Wednesday Wednesday Night Thursday
Weather: Mostly cloudy. Isolated snow showers. Partly cloudy then becoming clear. Isolated snow showers in the evening. Sunny.
Temperatures: 26 to 33 deg. F. 18 to 25 deg. F. 37 to 44 deg. F.
Wind Direction: NE NE E
Wind Speed: 15 to 25mph. Gusts up to 30mph increasing to 40mph in the afternoon. 15 to 25mph with gusts to 35mph. 20 to 25mph with gusts to 35mph becoming NE 10 to 15mph with gusts to 25mph 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