THIS SNOWPACK SUMMARY EXPIRED ON February 23, 2019 @ 6:41 am
Snowpack Summary published on February 21, 2019 @ 6:41 am
Issued by Ryan Lewthwaite -

bottom line:

The grip of cold winter temperatures is upon us & the snow conditions are very good in the mountains. Today's primary concern are old Wind Slabs on NE aspects & newly forming Wind Slabs on S-W aspects. The Wind Slabs may be small in size & difficult to trigger in most places, but they could be in hiding on isolated features or in complex terrain. We are hosting another Free Avalanche Awareness Class at the June Lake Community Center March 15, with the field day in the BWRA on the 16th. Obtain free education while it lasts!

Avalanche Character 1: Wind Slab
Wind Slab avalanches release naturally during wind events and can be triggered for up to a week after a wind event. They form in lee and cross-loaded terrain features. Avoid them by sticking to wind sheltered or wind scoured areas.

Shifting winds & snow showers are developing Wind Slabs near & above treeline today. Although stubborn & small in size, Wind Slabs will become more prominent on W-SW-S aspects as we have winds out of the North. Previously loaded Northeast slopes & crossloaded features could still be somewhat ripe for avalanche propagations near & above treeline. Include fairly Large Cornices in your hazard evaluations, as these snow waves are delicate & can break under your feet or above your head.

Snowpack Discussion

The snowpack is in good shape as most avalanche problems have settled out with time. Winds & lingering snow showers will keep snow transport & Wind Slabs as our primary concern today. The Wind Slabs may be small & difficult to trigger. Look for tender Slab development on S-W Lee aspects & isolated wind features, including Cornices. 

recent observations

-Conditions have been good in the BWRA & Twin Lakes areas with sun & deep snow near & below treeline. The alpine zone is showing signs of firm to unsupportable windpack on the surface. Many unique wind wave features & Cornices still reside on the landscape.

CURRENT CONDITIONS Weather observations from Sonora Pass
0600 temperature: 8 deg. F.
Max. temperature in the last 24 hours: 24 deg. F.
Average wind direction during the last 24 hours: North
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: 97 inches
weather

Light snow showers will continue throughout the day with cold temperatures. Winds will be Light out of the North gusting to Moderate. Wind chill values will be low today so cover up exposed skin. Snow showers will taper off tonight with minus temperatures, well below average.

Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the Reno NWS
For 8000 ft. to 10000 ft.
  Thursday Thursday Night Friday
Weather: Mostly cloudy with scattered snow showers. Snow Level Below 7000' Mostly cloudy with scattered snow showers. Snow Level Below 7000' Partly cloudy then becoming sunny. Snow Level Below 7000'
Temperatures: 13 to 21 deg. F. -1 to 5 deg. F. 21 to 29 deg. F.
Wind direction: North North North
Wind speed: 15 to 25 mph; gusts to 35 mph 15 to 25 mph; gusts to 40 mph decreasing to 30 mph late 15 mph; gusts to 25 mph becoming light
Expected snowfall: 2 in. 1 in. 0 in.
For above 10000 ft.
  Thursday Thursday Night Friday
Weather: Mostly cloudy with scattered snow showers. Snow Level Below 7000' Mostly cloudy with scattered snow showers. Snow Level Below 7000' Partly cloudy then becoming sunny. Snow Level Below 7000'
Temperatures: 4 to 9 deg. F. -5 to 0 deg. F. 12 to 17 deg. F.
Wind direction: North North North
Wind speed: 15 to 30 mph; gusts to 45 mph 15 to 30 mph; gusts to 55 mph decreasing to 45 mph late 15 to 25 mph; gusts to 35 mph
Expected snowfall: 2 in. 1 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.