THIS SNOWPACK SUMMARY EXPIRED ON February 25, 2019 @ 7:41 am
Snowpack Summary published on February 23, 2019 @ 7:41 am
Issued by Ryan Lewthwaite -

bottom line:

A Normal Caution exists in the BWRA for the time being. Increasing snowpack stability has us enjoying soft snow this weekend, but another abrupt change is in store for next week. Avoid Cornices & small Wind Slabs near & above treeline, for they remain the surface instability.

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.

Enjoy sun & a reprieve from snow for the moment. Conditions are favorable for good riding in most locations. Remain diligent when entering areas of questionable Wind Slabs near & above treeline as small avalanches could be possible on all aspects. Cornices almost never totally leave the avalanche discussion & can remain a problem well into the Normal Caution scenario.

Snowpack Discussion

The sub-structure of the snowpack is firmly in place due to the rain crust layer from last weeks AR. This 3cm thick pecil hard crust froze stiff just after the rain stopped on Thursday. Below the IFrc(rain crust) is 17cm of MFcl (clustered rounded grains held together by large ice bonds) which is -P hardness. These layers are discolored by the rain & are bridging the lower layers of the snowpack. Any instabilities we might see today will be small & involving surface Wind Slabs from newly transported snow. 

recent observations

- A test profile of the snowpack in the Repeat Offender & Lil' Buddy avalanche paths revealed 10cm of new snow that was deposited by wind. A pencil hard rain crust layer exists 33cm deep with an associated melt-freeze cluster layer extending down to 53cm. These layers are promoting bridging within the snowpack, creating stability below them. Surface Wind Slabs on all aspects near & above treeline remain the only uncertainty. 

CURRENT CONDITIONS Weather observations from Sonora Pass
0600 temperature: 15 deg. F.
Max. temperature in the last 24 hours: 25 deg. F.
Average wind direction during the last 24 hours: West
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: 96 inches
weather

Today we can expect sun for the first half of the day & increasing clouds for the afternoon hours. Below normal temperatures will remain for the weekend. A weak low pressure system will move in tonight with minor snow accumulations for Sunday & Monday. Beyond that the Wx forecast becomes uncertain as sub-tropical air, laden with moisture, moves Northeast towards California. Projections into mid-week are showing two Atmospheric River systems, back to back, with Wednesday as the lull between stroms. Confidence as to what precipitation amounts & forms may be seen are still Low.

Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the Reno NWS
For 8000 ft. to 10000 ft.
  Saturday Saturday Night Sunday
Weather: Sunny then becoming partly cloudy. Snow Level Below 7000' Mostly cloudy. Snow Level Below 7000' Mostly cloudy with a slight chance for snow showers. Snow Level Below 7000'
Temperatures: 27 to 35 deg. F. 15 to 20 deg. F. 29 to 37 deg. F.
Wind direction: West Southwest Southwest
Wind speed: 15 mph; gusts to 30 mph 15 to 20 mph; gusts to 40 mph 15 to 20 mph; gusts to 45 mph
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. 0 in.
For above 10000 ft.
  Saturday Saturday Night Sunday
Weather: Sunny then becoming partly cloudy. Snow Level Below 7000' Mostly cloudy. Snow Level Below 7000' Mostly cloudy with a slight chance for snow showers. Snow Level Below 7000'
Temperatures: 19 to 24 deg. F. 11 to 16 deg. F. 20 to 26 deg. F.
Wind direction: West Southwest Southwest
Wind speed: 15 to 20 mph; gusts to 30 mph 15 to 30 mph; gusts to 45 mph 20 to 30 mph; gusts to 45 mph
Expected snowfall: 0 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.