The USDA Forest Service avalanche centers are continuing to operate despite the partial government shutdown because of the critical public safety information they provide.
Issued by Steve Reynaud - Tahoe National ForestT_h
A winter storm warning is in effect from 10am today through 4am Monday morning. A strong winter storm is forecasted for our region starting this morning and lasting into Monday. Heavy rain is forecasted with snow levels starting off the storm as high as 7500-8000'. Snow levels should drop throughout the day as precipitation increases into the afternoon. SW winds have been on the increase overnight and will become gale force with ridge gusts in excess of 100mph. Up to 2' of snow is forecasted along the Sierra Crest. Uncertainty still exists for how fast snow levels will drop down to lake level this afternoon.
* Several recent small avalanches were observed yesterday on English Mtn. (Independence Lake area). These appeared to be from the recent rain on snow event.
* Observations from Meadow Lake (Independence Lake area), Tamarack Peak (Mt. Rose area), Chief Creek (Pole Creek area), and Trimmer Peak (Luther Pass area) all showed wet surface snow from the recent high elevation rain/misting event.
Snow this morning with gale force SW winds will quickly form new wind slabs on NW-N-NE-E-SE aspects in near and above treeline terrain. These wind slabs will form above the rain/snow line which could be as high as 7500-8000' initially before snow levels drop sometime this afternoon. Widespread natural wind slab avalanches will become very likely this afternoon and through the night.
Storm slabs will be likely on all aspects in near treeline and below treeline terrain. Initially, these storm slabs may have wet slab and/or loose wet characteristics mainly below 8000' due to heavy rain on snow today. As the storm intensifies this afternoon and snow levels drop, storm slabs from high intensity snowfall will become likely. Storm slabs will continue to grow larger as this storm has the potential for 2' of snow by Monday morning along the Sierra Crest. Natural storm slab avalanches will be likely today and tonight.
Deep slab avalanches will be possible on NW-N-NE-E aspects in both above and below treeline areas. Buried surface hoar and crust/facet layers are buried 4 to 6'+ deep in the snowpack. Snowpack tests continue to show that these weak layers could propagate if an avalanche could be initiated. Triggering one of these deep slab avalanches may be difficult due to the depth of the weak layer, but consequences would be very high.
|0600 temperature:||29 to 34 deg. F.|
|Max. temperature in the last 24 hours:||40 deg. F.|
|Average wind direction during the last 24 hours:||SW|
|Average wind speed during the last 24 hours:||30 to 50 mph|
|Maximum wind gust in the last 24 hours:||68 mph|
|New snowfall in the last 24 hours:||inches|
|Total snow depth:||65 to 86 inches|
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
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