THIS AVALANCHE FORECAST EXPIRED ON March 16, 2019 @ 6:59 am
Avalanche Forecast published on March 15, 2019 @ 6:59 am
Issued by Andy Anderson - Tahoe National Forest - Sierra Avalanche Center

MODERATE avalanche danger exists at all elevations today mainly due to loose wet avalanche problems. An unlikely but not impossible wind slab problem may still linger in some isolated places as well.

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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Warmer temperatures, strong sunshine, and less wind should allow enough warming for loose wet avalanches to become possible today. These could be small or large enough to have more serious consequences for backcountry travelers. Larger loose wet avalanches could occur on long, steep, sun-exposed slopes. Any size loose wet avalanche could be problematic in areas where terrain traps magnify its severity. As more daytime warming occurs, this problem will become more widespread. 

Wet surface snow, pinwheels, and roller balls can foreshadow larger loose wet avalanches. Moving to more shaded and sheltered northerly aspects can help find colder soft snow and reduce exposure to avalanche concerns.

Avalanche Problem 2: Wind Slab
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Triggering a wind slab avalanche has become unlikely in the majority of areas. Unlikely does not mean impossible. A surprise wind slab failure cannot be ruled out in some isolated locations especially in complex or extreme terrain including couloirs, cliffy areas, unsupported slopes, and steep convex rollovers. Larger triggers like large cornice failures may also still be able to release an avalanche.

Variable, challenging, firm, wind affected snow conditions will exist in areas where difficult to trigger wind slabs may still linger. Avoiding these less fun snow conditions in favor of the softer snow that should still remain in more sheltered terrain could provide more enjoyable recreation and help avoid potentially unpleasant wind slab surprises.

recent observations

* Yesterday observations from the Incline Lake Peak area revealed firm wind slabs on multiple aspects. Tests on the newer wind slabs still yielded some unstable results. Tests on the older wind slabs did not show signs of instability. All observations indicated that these wind slabs are becoming more difficult to trigger.

* In sheltered areas no signs of instability existed. Cold soft snow still lingered on northerly aspects. On sun-exposed southerly and easterly aspects heavier snow existed above older sun crusts by mid-afternoon but no wet snow instabilities were observed.

* A natural avalanche occurred on Jobs Sister. It was seen from a distance and details about its size, trigger, and type remain uncertain. It may have been triggered by rockfall. 

Weather and CURRENT CONDITIONS
weather summary

A high-pressure ridge continues to build over the region. Expect clear, calm weather through the weekend. Daytime highs should also continue to warm a few degrees each day with cold low temperatures during the nights.

Weather observations from along the Sierra Crest between 8200 ft. and 8800 ft.
0600 temperature: 19 to 28 deg. F.
Max. temperature in the last 24 hours: 27 to 37 deg. F.
Average wind direction during the last 24 hours: ENE
Average wind speed during the last 24 hours: 20 to 30 mph
Maximum wind gust in the last 24 hours: 60 mph
New snowfall in the last 24 hours: 0 inches
Total snow depth: 121 to 165 inches
Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the Reno NWS
For 7000 ft. to 8000 ft.
Friday Friday Night Saturday
Weather: Partly cloudy then becoming sunny. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 0%. Clear. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 0%. Sunny. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 0%.
Temperatures: 38 to 43 deg. F. 16 to 22 deg. F. 44 to 49 deg. F.
Mid Slope Winds: Light winds becoming east around 10 mph in the afternoon. Light winds. Light winds.
Expected snowfall: No accumulation. | SWE = none. No accumulation. | SWE = none. No accumulation. | SWE = none.
For 8000 ft. to 9000 ft.
Friday Friday Night Saturday
Weather: Partly cloudy then becoming sunny. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 0%. Clear. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 0%. Sunny. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 0%.
Temperatures: 34 to 39 deg. F. 17 to 22 deg. F. 36 to 41 deg. F.
Ridge Top Winds: Light winds becoming east around 15 mph in the afternoon. Light winds. Light winds.
Expected snowfall: No accumulation. | SWE = none. No accumulation. | SWE = none. No accumulation. | SWE = none.
Disclaimer

This avalanche forecast is provided through a partnership between the Tahoe National Forest and the Sierra Avalanche Center. This forecast 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 forecast applies only to backcountry areas outside established ski area boundaries. This forecast describes general avalanche conditions and local variations always occur. This forecast expires 24 hours after the posted time unless otherwise noted. The information in this forecast is provided by the USDA Forest Service who is solely responsible for its content.

For a recorded version of the avalanche forecast call (530) 587-3558 x258