THIS SNOWPACK SUMMARY EXPIRED ON April 22, 2019 @ 7:28 am
Snowpack Summary published on April 20, 2019 @ 7:28 am
Issued by Ryan Lewthwaite -

bottom line:

Dynamic weather today will change surface snow conditions & add a small amount of precipitation to the slopes. Be mindful of the spring-time hazards due to solid refreezing snow contrasted by rapid melting. Rivers are rising undercutting snow bridges & surfacing obstacles are becoming more apparent. Plowing has progressed to the 8000' mark on Hwy 108. If you have a trailer longer than 12' please park in the lot below Leavitt Falls Vista, there is not a large enough area to turn around beyond. 

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.

Keep in mind the snow surface is wet & loose & triggering a small avalanche is possible. Objects melting out of the deep snowpack & streams undercutting snow bridges are the real non-avalanche hazards. Cold temperatures tonight will help firm-up conditions for Sunday, making slide-for-life potential likely on steep faces. Small amounts of precipitation today should keep you tuned into changing surface snow conditions.

Snowpack Discussion

The primary instability is the upper 8-10cm of the melting snow surface. Loose Wet snow grains sit atop a rather firm (finger hard) deep snowpack (255cm). Without a refreeze in 3 evenings the snowpack has been creeping & remaining wet superficially. Tonight we are expecting temperatures to reach mid-twenties, locking up the Loose Wet grains for an icy start to Sunday morning. The Wx forecast does not call for more than a couple inches of snow up high this weekend. If we gain more snow precip than expected look for small wind slabs in the alpine. If rain amounts spike the concern will be Loose Wet near & below treeline.

recent observations

~4/18 Many visitors to the BWRA & multiple Loose Wet avalanches, some caused by snowmobilers. Temps near 50F & melting surface snow.

~4/19 Few visitors to the BWRA & no new notable avalanches. Wet snow grains in the upper meter of the snowpack. Finger hard snow resides below the Loose Wet 8-10cm of melting surface snow. Stability is good underneath the Loose Wet surface.

CURRENT CONDITIONS Weather observations from Sonora Pass
0600 temperature: 42 deg. F.
Max. temperature in the last 24 hours: 56 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: Light mph
New snowfall in the last 24 hours: 0 inches
Total snow depth: 83 inches
weather

A Low air pressure mass will cool temperatures & increase winds for today. Building clouds will inhibit the sunshine & bring scattered showers to our local region. Small amounts of precipitation are expected & the form will depend on how high in elevation you are. A sharp drop in temperature tonight will allow for a substantial refreeze in the alpine. High pressure will return Monday & linger throughout the rest of the work week.

Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the Reno NWS
For 8000 ft. to 10000 ft.
  Saturday Saturday Night Sunday
Weather: Mostly cloudy with scattered showers. Snow Level 9000' Thundersnow? Decreasing clouds with isolated snow showers late. Snow Level 8500' decreasing to 7000' late Partly cloudy with a chance for afternoon showers. Snow Level up to 7500'
Temperatures: 41 to 51 deg. F. 24 to 30 deg. F. 38 to 48 deg. F.
Wind direction: Southwest West North
Wind speed: 15 to 30 mph; gusts to 60 mph 15 to 30 mph; gusts to 55 mph then decreasing to 35 mph 15 to 20 mph; gusts to 40 mph
Expected snowfall: 1 in. trace in. trace in.
For above 10000 ft.
  Saturday Saturday Night Sunday
Weather: Mostly cloudy with scattered showers. Snow Level 9000' Thundersnow? Decreasing clouds with isolated snow showers late. Snow Level 8500' decreasing to 7000' late Partly cloudy with a chance for afternoon showers. Snow Level up to 7500'
Temperatures: 30 to 40 deg. F. 19 to 24 deg. F. 29 to 37 deg. F.
Wind direction: Southwest Southwest becoming West North
Wind speed: 20 to 30 mph; gusts to 45 mph increasing to 25 to 40 mph; gusts to 60 mph in the afternoon 25 to 40 mph; gusts to 60 mph decreasing to 15 to 20 mph; gusts to 35 mph late 15 to 25 mph; gusts to 40 mph
Expected snowfall: 2 in. trace in. trace 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.