Snowpack Summary published on April 12, 2019 @ 7:02 am
Issued by Ryan Lewthwaite -

bottom line:

Cold overnight temperatures contrasted by rapid afternoon warming will have us focused on Loose Wet avalanches as the problem. Look for recent avalanche activity & tailor your terrain selection to avoid areas on instability. Plowing progress should have us off-loading near the Pickel Meadow Pack Station. Closing Date is set for April 28!

Avalanche Character 1: Loose Wet
Loose Wet avalanches occur when water is running through the snowpack, and release at or below the trigger point. Avoid very steep slopes and terrain traps such as cliffs, gullies, or tree wells. Exit avalanche terrain when you see pinwheels, roller balls, a slushy surface, or during rain-on-snow events.

Later in the afternoon look for Loose Wet avalanche potential on slopes that gain progressively more sun throughout the day. Soft snow will tend to melt more quickly as does snow near rocks or protruding objects. The water in creeks is rising with the melt-out & could undercut snow bridges causing difficult travel near riparian areas.

Snowpack Discussion

The snowpack should prove to be in firm lock-up this morning with temperatures at Sonora Snotel reading 25F & Leavitt at 21F. As the clouds clear the uppermost portion of the snowpack will melt, allowing for minor Loose Wet avalanches on sun exposed slopes. Small Wind Slabs on Lee aspects N-E should still be considered hazardous, but could be stubborn to initiate fracture.

recent observations

~4/8 A variety of avalanches have been observed including: Loose Wet , Wind Slab, & Cornice Fall.

~4/3 Shallow Wet Slab avalanches have occurred specifically on NE aspects above treeline. Several human-triggered & numerous natural avalanches have been seen.

CURRENT CONDITIONS Weather observations from Sonora Pass
0600 temperature: 25 deg. F.
Max. temperature in the last 24 hours: 37 deg. F.
Average wind direction during the last 24 hours: West
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: 90 inches

Overnight temperatures in the mid to low twenties will give us a firm start to the day. A solid refreeze this morning will give-way to afternoon rapid warming, not before a few patchy clouds & sparce snow showers. Light North winds will clear the skies for afternoon sunshine with gusts near 30 mph. Tomorrow we'll gain temperatures near 50F & no clouds.

Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the Reno NWS
For 8000 ft. to 10000 ft.
  Friday Friday Night Saturday
Weather: Decreasing clouds with a slight chance for morning snow showers. Snow Level Below 7000' Clear Sunny
Temperatures: 33 to 41 deg. F. 23 to 28 deg. F. 46 to 56 deg. F.
Wind direction: North North Light winds
Wind speed: 15 mph; gusts to 30 mph 15 mph becoming Light Light winds
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. 0 in.
For above 10000 ft.
  Friday Friday Night Saturday
Weather: Partly cloudy then becoming sunny. Clear Sunny
Temperatures: 28 to 34 deg. F. 19 to 28 deg. F. 38 to 46 deg. F.
Wind direction: North North West
Wind speed: 15 to 20 mph; gusts to 30 mph 15 to 25 mph; gusts to 35 mph 15 mph; gusts to 25 mph early
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. 0 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.