THIS AVALANCHE FORECAST EXPIRED ON February 10, 2020 @ 6:59 am
Avalanche Forecast published on February 9, 2020 @ 6:59 am
Issued by Andy Anderson - Tahoe National Forest - Sierra Avalanche Center

While blowing snow may be present today, significant avalanche activity should remain unlikely since old snow should remain frozen and new snow accumulation should remain limited. Variable firm snow conditions and gale force NE winds represent the main challenges for backcountry travelers 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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Gale force NE winds and cold temperatures across the area will leave hard icy surfaces on many slopes in the backcountry today. Arresting a fall on these firm surfaces would be difficult. Small amounts of new snow may result in "dust on crust" conditions in a few areas by this afternoon.

With little to no snow forecasted for most areas today, avalanche problems should remain unlikely. In areas that do receive new snow, plumes of blowing snow may exist along ridgelines. However, any fresh snowdrifts that form should remain small in size and limited in distribution. If more snow falls than forecast, then some more problematic wind slabs may form in the most heavily wind-loaded areas on NW-W-SW-S-SE aspects.

Travel using normal caution in the backcountry today. Make a travel plan that provides appropriate safety margins to account for potentially firm and challenging conditions.

recent observations

* Recent observations have shown spring-like melt-freeze conditions on sun-exposed E-SE-S-SW-W aspects across the forecast area. These aspects should remain frozen and firm today.

* More shaded NW-N-NE aspects hold a mix of wind-scoured surfaces, breakable crusts, and some dust on crust conditions. Observers have reported weak snow near the surface crusts but no slabs exist above that weak snow nor are any large loading events forecasted in the near future.

Weather and CURRENT CONDITIONS
weather summary

Winds shifted to the NE last night and increased to gale force speeds. Sensors along the Sierra Crest are showing sustained NE winds in the 50 to 70 mph range with gusts over 110 mph. A sensor near Carson Pass recorded gusts at 145 mph this morning! A dramtic temperature drop has also accompanied these winds with low temperatures in the single digits and teens this morning. Some light snow started to fall this morning in a few areas along the Sierra Crest and in the Carson Range east of Lake Tahoe. The forecast calls for limited snow accumulation with this cold front with most areas seeing little to no snow. A few isolated areas (especially in the Carson Range) may pick up a few inches of new snow. What snow showers do occur should end this evening, but the gale force NE winds and cold weather should continue through the night. The winds should decrease some tomorrow. 

CURRENT CONDITIONS ALONG THE SIERRA CREST BETWEEN 8200 FT. AND 9200 FT. IN THE LAST 24 HOURS
6am temperature: 9 to 17 deg. F.
Max. temperature: 34 to 44 deg. F.
Average ridgetop wind direction: Until 7 pm: SW | After 7 pm: NE
Average ridgetop wind speed: SW: 35-40 mph | NE: 50 to 70 mph
Maximum ridgetop wind gust: 145 mph
New snowfall: trace to 0 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.
Sunday Sunday Night Monday
Weather: Mostly cloudy. Chance of snow. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 25%. Partly cloudy. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 5%. Sunny. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 0%.
Temperatures: 25 to 31 deg. F. 14 to 19 deg. F. 35 to 40 deg. F.
Mid Slope Winds: Northeast 15 to 25 mph with gusts to 60 mph increasing to 30 to 45 mph with gusts to 85 mph in the afternoon. Northeast 30 to 40 mph decreasing to 20 to 30 mph after midnight. Gusts up to 85 mph. Northeast 15 to 20 mph. Gusts up to 55 mph decreasing to 40 mph in the afternoon.
Expected snowfall: 80% probability up to 4 inches. 20% probability of 4 to 5 inches. | SWE = less than 0.10 inch. No accumulation. | SWE = none. No accumulation. | SWE = none.
For 8000 ft. to 9000 ft.
Sunday Sunday Night Monday
Weather: Mostly cloudy. Chance of snow. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 30%. Partly cloudy. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 5%. Sunny. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 0%.
Temperatures: 19 to 25 deg. F. 11 to 16 deg. F. 31 to 37 deg. F.
Ridge Top Winds: Northeast 25 to 35 mph with gusts to 65 mph increasing to 35 to 50 mph with gusts to 85 mph in the afternoon. Northeast 30 to 50 mph with gusts to 85 mph. Northeast 15 to 30 mph with gusts to 70 mph.
Expected snowfall: 80% probability up to 4 inches. 20% probability of 4 to 7 inches. | SWE = less than 0.10 inch. 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