Avalanche Advisory published on November 3, 2017 @ 8:19 am
Issued by Brandon Schwartz - Tahoe National Forest

Early season conditions update #1 - Regular avalanche advisories will begin later this fall.

Significant snowfall is expected to affect the forecast area this weekend. Natural and human triggered avalanches will be possible. Anyone participating in over snow travel in or near avalanche terrain needs to carry and properly use companion rescue gear a well as apply avalanche avoidance training. Stoke is high. Don't let it disrupt sound decision making.

 

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Above Treeline

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Near Treeline

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Below Treeline
Avalanche Problem 1: Wind Slab
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The mostly likely avalanche problem to exist during and after this first major storm of the season is wind slab. With 1 to 2 feet of new snow and gale force SW to W winds expected above 7,000', the conditions will be right for new wind slab formation. This will generally occur in near and above treeline areas where blowing snow exists. Sizable hold over patches of snow from last winter remain in isolated areas on northerly aspects. While these patches will provide an inviting base for recreation, they also provide a relatively planer bed surface for avalanches. Don't fool yourself with thinking that it is too early in the season for avalanches. The ingredients are expected to come together with this storm.

advisory discussion

With the arrival of avalanche hazard, it is imperative that the avalanche mindset is established. Unfortunately, one avalanche fatality has already occurred in the US this fall. Anyone engaging in on snow recreation either in or near avalanche terrain needs to carry and properly use companion rescue gear - transceiver, shovel, and probe. Do more than just put new batteries in the transceiver, get a group of friends together for a practice session. What is your greater rescue plan once a buried person is uncovered? Do you have significant first aid training for remote environments? What will you do if you have no cell service to call 911? What will you do to care for an injured individual during the hours that it will likely take for Search and Rescue to arrive after a 911 call is made? What will you do for treatment for traumatic injuries to the chest, abdomen, head, limbs? Developing hypothermia in patient and potentially rescuers? Establish a plan and carry the gear needed to address the identified issues in your plan. Identify the areas where additional training is needed to be able to implement all parts of the plan.

Once you have the gear and a plan, how is your avalanche avoidance training? Recent and on the front of your brain status? Fuzzy, informal, dated, but hey, nothing bad has ever happened status? You can brush up on avalanche avoidance knowledge at the education section of avalanche.org (video) and also at fsavalanche.org (online tutorial). There are also tutorials and videos on companion rescue at fsavalanche.org

recent observations

Some sizable snow patches remain from last winter in isolated areas on northerly aspects.

Weather and CURRENT CONDITIONS
Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the Reno NWS
For 7000 ft. to 8000 ft.
Friday Friday Night Saturday
Weather: Cloudy skies with a chance of rain and snow. Snow level 7,000'. Cloudy skies with rain in the evening, snow through the night. Snow level 7,000'. Cloudy skies with snow. Snow level 6,500'.
Temperatures: 38 to 43 deg. F. 29 to 34 deg. F. 33 to 39 deg. F.
Wind Direction: SW SW SW
Wind Speed: 15 to 20 mph with gusts to 40 mph, increasing to 20 to 30 mph with gusts to 60 mph in the afternoon. 20 to 30 mph. Gusts to 70 mph increasing to 80 mph after midnight. 20 to 30 mph. Gusts to 75 mpg decreasing to 65 mph in the afternoon.
Expected snowfall: Likely Up to 3 in.|Small chance 2 to 5 in. Likely 1 to 5 in.|Small chance 5 to 9 in. Likely 3 to 9 in.|Small chance 9 to 12 in.
For 8000 ft. to 9000 ft.
Friday Friday Night Saturday
Weather: Cloudy skies with a chance of snow. Snow level 7,000'. Cloudy skies with snow. Snow level 7,000'. Cloudy skies with snow. Snow level 6,500'.
Temperatures: 34 to 39 deg. F. 27 to 32 deg. F. 28 to 33 deg. F.
Wind Direction: SW SW SW
Wind Speed: 25 to 35 mph with gusts to 60 mph, increasing to 30 to 45 mph with gusts to 75 mph in the afternoon. 35 to 55 mph. Gusts to 75 mph increasing to 100 mph after midnight. 35 to 55 mph. Gusts to 105 mph decreasing to 95 mph in the afternoon.
Expected snowfall: Likely up to 2 in.|Small chance 2 to 6 in. Likely 2 to 6 in.|Small chance 7 to 13 in. Likely 5 to 11 in.|Small chance 11 to 14 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