THIS AVALANCHE FORECAST EXPIRED ON February 11, 2020 @ 7:00 am
Avalanche Forecast published on February 10, 2020 @ 7:00 am
Issued by Andy Anderson - Tahoe National Forest - Sierra Avalanche Center

Firm surfaces, breakable crusts, and continued NE winds will continue to vex backcountry travelers today. Mostly frozen snow surfaces and very little new snow for the wind to blow around should keep significant avalanche activity unlikely today. LOW avalanche danger exists at all elevations.

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: Normal Caution
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    Certain
    Very Likely
    Likely
    Possible
    Unlikely
  • Size ?
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    Very Large
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NE winds will continue to hammer exposed slopes today. Expect to find hard wind-scoured surfaces and refrozen melt-freeze crusts on exposed areas in the backcountry today. A fall on one of these icy slopes could result in a long slide that would be difficult to arrest. In more sheltered areas, variable surface conditions with breakable crusts, firm surfaces, and some patches of "dust on crust" exist. Some lower elevation sun-exposed slopes may soften a bit today, but the weather should not allow enough warming for loose wet instabilities to form. 

Blowing snow may exist still along ridgelines; however, fresh snowdrifts should still remain small in size and limited in distribution since very little snow is available for transport. 

Even though avalanche problems remain unlikely, the firm and variable conditions pose other challenges. Travel using normal caution in the backcountry today. Make a travel plan that matches the intended terrain to your group's travel skills.

recent observations

* In the Carson Pass area yesterday, observers reported blowing snow, blowing debris (including some rocks), and blowing trees. The extreme NE winds remained sustained all day.

* On Elephant's Hump yesterday, snow conditions were variable with small drifts of windblown snow next to areas of scoured crusts. Snowmobilers also reported variable conditions in the Blue Lakes area. In both these areas, the small areas of drifted snow would crack with ski or snowmobile cuts, but no drifts large enough to cause problems for backcountry travelers were observed.

* Sensors and observations indicate that limited new snow accumulated yesterday with maybe up to 3 inches in the Carson and Ebbetts Pass areas and less than 2 inches in some other places. Many areas did not receive any appreciable new snow. 

Weather and CURRENT CONDITIONS
weather summary

Yesterday's extreme NE winds have decreased some but sensors still show them blowing at gale force along the Sierra Crest. The recorded speeds on the wind sensor at the top of Kirkwood have not dropped below 100 mph in the last 24 hrs. If the data verifies, that sensor may have recorded a CA wind speed record yesterday when a gust hit 209 mph. Expect gale force NE-E winds to continue today as a high-pressure ridge moves into the region. This high pressure will also bring sunny skies and warmer temperatures today and tomorrow. 

CURRENT CONDITIONS ALONG THE SIERRA CREST BETWEEN 8200 FT. AND 9200 FT. IN THE LAST 24 HOURS
6am temperature: 13 to 21 deg. F.
Max. temperature: 16 to 26 deg. F.
Average ridgetop wind direction: NE to ENE
Average ridgetop wind speed: 60 to 100 mph
Maximum ridgetop wind gust: 209 mph
New snowfall: 0 to 2 inches
Total snow depth: 41 to 52 inches
Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the Reno NWS
For 7000 ft. to 8000 ft.
Monday Monday Night Tuesday
Weather: Sunny. Chance of precipitation is 0%. Clear. Chance of precipitation is 0%. Sunny. Chance of precipitation is 0%.
Temperatures: 35 to 41 deg. F. 17 to 23 deg. F. 40 to 45 deg. F.
Mid Slope Winds: East 15 to 20 mph with gusts to 40 mph. East 10 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph. East 10 to 15 mph with gusts to 30 mph.
Expected snowfall: No accumulation. | SWE = none. No accumulation. | SWE = none. No accumulation. | SWE = none.
For 8000 ft. to 9000 ft.
Monday Monday Night Tuesday
Weather: Sunny. Chance of precipitation is 0%. Clear. Chance of precipitation is 0%. Sunny. Chance of precipitation is 0%.
Temperatures: 30 to 36 deg. F. 15 to 20 deg. F. 36 to 42 deg. F.
Ridge Top Winds: East 35 to 55 mph with gusts to 75 mph. East 25 to 35 mph with gusts to 55 mph. East 15 to 25 mph with gusts to 40 mph.
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