THIS SNOWPACK SUMMARY EXPIRED ON January 17, 2018 @ 10:15 am
Snowpack Summary published on January 15, 2018 @ 10:15 am
Issued by Ryan Lewthwaite -

bottom line:

(bwra closed) The avalanche hazard has subdued itself for the time being, but lets not relax. Our next opportunity for minor snow accumulations is tonight. Thursday presents itself as a reemergence of winter with optimistic snow potential. What will this added weight do the persistent slab problem we've had is the ultimate question? Perform snowpack evaluations often as you travel, & submit to us your observations. We would love to deliver the TBD bwra opener, but for now we remain steadfast.

Avalanche Character 1: Persistent Slab
Persistent Slab avalanches can be triggered days to weeks after the last storm. They often propagate across and beyond terrain features that would otherwise confine Wind and Storm Slab avalanches. In some cases they can be triggered remotely, from low-angle terrain or adjacent slopes. Give yourself a wide safety buffer to address the uncertainty.

Take time to investigate the snowpack in your riding area, don't guess. This persistent slab problem is not leaving our avalanche spectrum any time soon. Overall it is unlikely to trigger these deeper slabs today, although they do exist in isolated features. Look for leeward slopes above 8500' that have a smooth or billowy allure. In places where snow deposits remained cool, shady, & wind-driven accumulations formed; a layer or layers of weak snow may linger. Suspect aspects in our snowpack range from NW-N-NE & reside above 8500'.

Snowpack Discussion

Snowpack stability has increased but buried weak layers can still be a problem for travelers near & above treeline. Time has allowed settlement of the snowpack, although avalanches can occur even during low danger periods. Solar radiation has formed surface melt-freeze crusts adding to the dynamics of our riding lately. No new snow has been seen for a few days & the same can be said for avalanches. In places where wet loose avalanches took places last week, a lumpy & bumpy & slightly formidable landscape exists.

recent observations

Isolated whumphing, or sudden collapse of snow layers, is still being noticed in the upper elevations. Surface melt-freeze crusts have formed making skiing conditions in early morning & late afternoon somewhat treacherous. Very little snow available for transport & winds have been light.

CURRENT CONDITIONS Weather observations from Sonora Pass
0600 temperature: 42 deg. F.
Max. temperature in the last 24 hours: 50 deg. F.
Average wind direction during the last 24 hours:
Average wind speed during the last 24 hours: mph
Maximum wind gust in the last 24 hours: mph
New snowfall in the last 24 hours: 0 inches
Total snow depth: 15 inches

A change from the warm dryness will come today as a quick low passes over our area. Snow will begin tonight & continue through tomorrow with accumulations relatively small. Freezing temperatures & strong winds will return to the alpine today. Our remote weather stations have shown nightly temps barely reaching freezing with last nights atmosphere at a balmy 42 degrees. Thursday's weather looks promising in the form of a more typical winter storm with less sassy rain elements. Welcome back winter!

Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the Reno NWS
For 8000 ft. to 10000 ft.
  Monday Monday Night Tuesday
Weather: Partly cloud with increasing cloudiness Mostly cloudy with a chance of snow late Mostly cloudy with a chance of snow throughout the day, possibly rain midday
Temperatures: 46 - 54 deg. F. 30 - 35 deg. F. 39 - 47 deg. F.
Wind direction: Southwest Southwest Southwest
Wind speed: 10 to 15 mph; gusts to 35 mph 10 to 15 mph; gusts to 45 mph 15 to 25 mph; gusts to 50 mph
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 1 in. 2 in.
For above 10000 ft.
  Monday Monday Night Tuesday
Weather: Partly cloudy then clouds increasing Mostly cloudy with snow late Mostly cloudy with a chance of snow
Temperatures: 40 - 46 deg. F. 25 - 30 deg. F. 32 - 37 deg. F.
Wind direction: Southwest Southwest Southwest
Wind speed: 15 to 25 mph; gusts to 50 mph decreasing to 40 mph later 20 to 35 mph; gusts to 50 mph 30 to 45 mph; gusts to 65 mph
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 1 in. 2 in.

This snowpack summary applies only to backcountry areas in the Bridgeport Winter Recreation Area. Click here for a map of the area. This snowpack summary describes general avalanche conditions and local variations always occur. This snowpack summary expires in 48 hours unless otherwise noted. The information in this snowpack summary is provided by the USDA Forest Service who is solely responsible for its content.