THIS SNOWPACK SUMMARY EXPIRED ON January 30, 2019 @ 7:26 am
Snowpack Summary published on January 28, 2019 @ 7:26 am
Issued by Ryan Lewthwaite -

bottom line:

A Normal Caution exists for the BWRA & surrounding mountains of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. An excellent turn-out this week has made for plenty of satisfied snowmobilers & sled-skiers. The return to winter is welcomed by the Bridgeport Avalanche Center, because we need a refresh of new snow. We anticipate storms this week will deliver precipitation for next weekends festivities, including our Snowmobile Avalanche Awareness Class Feb. 1-2.

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.

High pressure has helped our snowpack become stronger this week. Caution should still be excersized with the possibility of Loose Wet avalanches in the afternoon sun & Cornices falling from above. Everyday awareness of the potential worst-case-scenario unfolding before you will keep you vigilant & prepared.

Snowpack Discussion

The snowpack has been rapidly conforming to the slopes during daylight hours & refreezing at night. Although lastnights temperatures were above freezing, leaving things this morning somewhat loose in elevations above 8500'. Lingering deep instabilities have been dormant but there existence within the snowpack can still be found in mid layers or near the ground in thinner snowpack areas. Surface melt-freeze crusts are variable & can hold moist grains below. The stable snowpack has allowed for safer travel in the high mountain landscapes, where there are tracks nearly everywhere.

recent observations

Sun, warm temperatures & melting snow has been the theme this week in the BWRA. Coverage is still very good low & dry snow is still available in the alpine, it might take some exploring to find fresh goods though. Icy slopes that haven't melted yet will remain slick, avoid these places as we accumulate new snow. We are seeing lots of Loose Wet avalanche activity, mostly in the form of small point releases starting at rock outcrops or from snowmobile tracks on South facing slopes. Yesterday a mid-storm Cornice fall avalanche was noted to have occured with last Sunday/Mondays precipitation. From a considerable distance away the remnants of this cornice failure was significant, with several intact chunks the size of large vehicles. If you travel in upper Sardine Falls area look for this avalanche evidence in a long runout zone above treeline.

CURRENT CONDITIONS Weather observations from Sonora Pass
0600 temperature: 31 deg. F.
Max. temperature in the last 24 hours: 53 deg. F.
Average wind direction during the last 24 hours: Northwest
Average wind speed during the last 24 hours: Light mph
Maximum wind gust in the last 24 hours: Moderate mph
New snowfall in the last 24 hours: 0 inches
Total snow depth: 55 inches

Today we will endure another afternoon of above average temperatures with increasing clouds. Light winds will shift from North to Southwest this evening, gusts could be around 35 mph. Tonight will be our first chance for precipitation as a weak disturbance enters our region. Late Wednesday we could see increasing mountain snowfall & possibly valley rains. Freezing rain is not out of the question with these storms as snow levels will fluctuate above 7000'. A temperature inversion overnight has Leavitt Lake Snotel slowly dropping this morning from 40F degrees at midnight.

Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the Reno NWS
For 8000 ft. to 10000 ft.
  Monday Monday Night Tuesday
Weather: Partly cloudy becoming mostly cloudy Mostly cloudy Mostly cloudy with a chance of snow
Temperatures: 40 to 48 deg. F. 26 to 31 deg. F. 38 to 46 deg. F.
Wind direction: Northeast Light winds Southwest
Wind speed: 10 to 15 mph; gusts to 30 mph later Light winds; gusts to 25 mph late 10 to 15 mph; gusts to 30 mph
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. 1 in.
For above 10000 ft.
  Monday Monday Night Tuesday
Weather: Partly cloudy becoming mostly cloudy Mostly cloudy Mostly cloudy with a chance of snow
Temperatures: 34 to 40 deg. F. 22 to 27 deg. F. 30 to 36 deg. F.
Wind direction: North Southwest Southwest
Wind speed: 15 to 20 mph; gusts to 30 mph 15 to 25 mph; gusts to 35 mph late 15 to 25 mph; gusts to 35 mph
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 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.