State of the Snowpack for 1/18/2020 - 1/24/2020

Dates of the Week: 
1/18/2020 to 1/24/2020
Avalanche Problems: 
General Snowpack Structure: 
  • A rain crust has formed on the snow surface up to about 8500 ft. 
  • The Jan 4 weakness started the week with widespread signs of instability. By the end of the week, data indicated that this layer is gaining strength.
  • Below the Jan 4 crust/facet combination, a well-consolidated snowpack exists.
Weather Events: 
  • A clear day Jan 18 gave way to cloudy skies and warmer weather through Jan 20.
  • Small storm with wind and limited snow on Jan 21. 
  • Another warm and weak storm with rain up to 8500 ft. on the night of Jan 23.

Central Sierra Nevada / Lake Tahoe Snowpack, Weather, and Avalanche Observations for California and Nevada from SAC

Date and time of observation or avalanche occurrence Location Region Observation Type Photos Snowpack, Avalanche, Weather Videos Snowpit videos (tests, etc) Observation made by
01/27/2020 - 11:00 Mt. Judah Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Cornice dropped onto a test slope that did not result in any signs of wind slab instability Skier triggered crack on another more N facing test slope. Breakable crust from light rain this morning, mainly below 7500'. Settlement cracks around trees showing new storm snow gaining strength. Poor visibility looking into the larger avalanche terrain. Forecaster
01/26/2020 - 16:00 Far East Ridge of Tamarack Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Small wind slab that cracked on when I kicked it. Wind scouring on the exposed ridge Forecaster
01/26/2020 - 14:00 Waterhouse Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Public
01/26/2020 - 14:00 Bear Meadows Independence Lake Area Avalanche Observation Public
01/26/2020 - 12:45 Mt Houghton Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Public
01/26/2020 - 12:30 Round Top Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation stability test location on round top Public
01/26/2020 - 12:30 Roundtop Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Public
01/26/2020 - 11:15 East Ridge Relay Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Public
01/26/2020 - 10:00 South slopes of Tamarack Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation ECTN14 at snowpit #1; some cohesiveness of 2 layers (new snow, old windslab) that popped out when we pulled at them with a shovel. Public
01/26/2020 - 06:00 Above Round Lake Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Small pit done about 4:00 pm last night before it started raining. Top 5cm of snow wet due to above freezing temperatures. Chowder snow this morning around 9:00AM Educator
Lake Tahoe Community College - Wilderness Education
01/26/2020 - 04:00 Skiers left arm Mt Tallac Avalanche Observation Public
01/26/2020 - 02:00 Waterhouse Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Public
01/25/2020 - 15:00 Powderhouse Snowpack Observation Educator
Lake Tahoe Community College - Wilderness Education
01/25/2020 - 14:30 1/2 mile NE from Toms meadow Independence Lake Area Snowpack Observation Public
01/25/2020 - 14:00 School Rock [Across from China Wall of the Sierra] Donner Summit Area Avalanche Observation Natural Cornice Avalanche SouthEast Face School Rock Natural Cornice Avalanche SouthEast Face School Rock Public

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