THIS SNOWPACK SUMMARY EXPIRED ON January 2, 2019 @ 7:20 am
Snowpack Summary published on December 31, 2018 @ 7:20 am
Issued by Ryan Lewthwaite -

bottom line:

The snowpack is shaping up nicely & taking on a more stable form. A popular weekend in the BWRA has left many tracks & few unsatisfied recreationists. We will be in a lull this week with high pressure & a cold snap for the New Year holiday. We appreciate your receptiveness to obtaining permits & all the great conversations at the trailhead. We look forward to your patronage & willingness to seek education about avalanche avoidance. Safety is paramount for sledding in 2019!

Avalanche Character 1: Normal Caution
Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features. Use normal caution when travelling in the backcountry.

Wind, sun & time have allowed our snowpack to settle upon the landscape in a mostly stable situation. Keep tuned into surface clues & snow banners coming from ridgetops for indicators of places to avoid loading or scouring. Practice good terrain management & group dynamics, always ready for a worst case scenaio to unfold.

Snowpack Discussion

Surface snow indicated intact Stellars with a speckling of small & rounding Surface Hoar from the days warmth. Layers of broken precipitation particles from several windy events make up the majority of the upper to mid snowpack. Stability tests resulted in minor failure, with hard to moderate force, around a midlayer of firm Windpacked snow roughly 30cm deep. There was found to be some abrupt drainage features which exhibit faceted snow in cavities & thin Southerly aspects.

recent observations

Many tracks have been laid down in the BWRA this weekend with minimal signs of avalanche activity. Observations obtained yesterday in the Sardine Can area conclude a fairly stable snowpack with limited "Lemons". Visual clues of surface snow can easily distinguish firm windboard from softer accumulations. 

CURRENT CONDITIONS Weather observations from Sonora Pass
0600 temperature: 11 deg. F.
Max. temperature in the last 24 hours: 42 deg. F.
Average wind direction during the last 24 hours: N
Average wind speed during the last 24 hours: moderate mph
Maximum wind gust in the last 24 hours: moderate mph
New snowfall in the last 24 hours: 0 inches
Total snow depth: 27 inches
weather

Throughout today expect increasing winds from the Northeast with ridgetop gusts that could reach +90 mph tonight. Air temperatures will be in the teens to single digits during the day while dropping to minus temps for the New Years festivities. Clouds with minor snow showers will fill the sky for the daylight hours. Wind Chill values will be low & exposed skin could suffer if left to the elements. There is a rumor of snow for the upcoming weekend..

Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the Reno NWS
For 8000 ft. to 10000 ft.
  Monday Monday Night Tuesday
Weather: Mostly cloudy, then becoming partly cloudy with a slight chance of snow showers Partly cloudy then becoming clear Sunny
Temperatures: 13 to 19 deg. F. -2 to 3 deg. F. 21 to 26 deg. F.
Wind direction: North Northeast Light winds
Wind speed: 10 to 15 mph; gusts to 40 mph 10 to 15 mph; gusts to 65 mph to start the new year 10 to 15 mph; gusts to 45 mph decreasing to 35 mph later
Expected snowfall: 1 in. 0 in. 0 in.
For above 10000 ft.
  Monday Monday Night Tuesday
Weather: Mostly cloudy, then becoming partly cloudy with a slight chance of snow showers Snow Levels Below 7000' Partly cloudy then becoming clear Sunny
Temperatures: 9 to 15 deg. F. -6 to -1 deg. F. 21 to 26 deg. F.
Wind direction: Northeast Northeast Northeast
Wind speed: 15 to 30 mph; gusts to 55 mph 25 to 40 mph increasing to 40 to 60 mph late; gusts to 90 mph= Happy New Year 2019! 20 to 35 mph; gusts to 60 mph decreasing to 45 mph later
Expected snowfall: 1 in. 0 in. 0 in.
Disclaimer

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.