Issued by Steve Reynaud - Tahoe National ForestT_h
A weak low pressure system will move past our area to the north today. There is a slight chance of some light valley rain and mountain snow in the northern portion of the forecast area. SW winds will increase into the strong to gale force range over the higher ridges this afternoon. Temperatures cool for Wednesday as high pressure starts to build into the region with a NE flow. NE winds could gust as high as 70-85mph over the upper exposed ridges on Wednesday. A warming trend builds into the weekend with well above average temperatures into Saturday.
Observations from Mt. Judah (Donner Summit area) showed a mostly stable snowpack. Light rain was falling on Donner Summit in the morning with a breakable surface crust below 7500'. Wind slabs were non reactive on multiple test slopes below 7800'. Blowing snow and larger new cornices were seen above 8000' along the summit ridge. Snowpack tests targeting the Jan 4 weak layer showed this layer has gained strength and failure of this layer is unlikely moving forward.
Similar conditions were seen at Blue Lakes (Carson Pass area). Breakable crusts existed below 8000', with over 1' of snow in wind blown locations above 8000'. Buried surface hoar was found beneath the newest crust. Multiple snowpack tests and informal observations did not indicate that this layer was a concern.
Human triggered wind slab avalanches will be possible today in near and above treeline areas. SW winds have increased this morning and are forecasted to be in the strong to gale force range today. Blowing snow should be limited to areas near and above 8000', above the recent rain where lighter snow that can be wind transported exists. Wind slabs are expected to be larger along the Sierra Crest where 6 to 8'' or more of recent storm snow exists for wind transport.
Blowing snow, built out cornices, scoured ridges, and wind pillows will all be clues to where new wind slabs exist. Use caution around these areas and manage terrain to avoid areas of concern.
|0600 temperature:||18 to 31 deg. F.|
|Max. temperature in the last 24 hours:||27 to 35 deg. F.|
|Average wind direction during the last 24 hours:||SW|
|Average wind speed during the last 24 hours:||25 to 45 mph|
|Maximum wind gust in the last 24 hours:||62 mph|
|New snowfall in the last 24 hours:||inches|
|Total snow depth:||46 to 56 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.
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