Snowpack Summary published on April 22, 2019 @ 7:17 am
Issued by Ryan Lewthwaite -

bottom line:

A good early morning plan is the best way to avoid the afternoon Loose Wet avalanche issue. As the suns rays hit your desired riding terrain expect the surface snow grains to degrade, becoming loose, moist, & lacking cohesion. Plowing will advance quickly this week. Stay tuned to where we will be launching snowmobiles for our last week in the BWRA. BWRA closes to snowmobiles on 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.

High Pressure has enveloped our mountains & we can expect clear skies & warm temperatures for the week. Fluctuating temperatures during daylight hours could reach to mid 60's, while overnight lows will be near or below freezing. The suns routine starts hitting Southeast slopes first, progressing due South & finishes in the Southwest. The suns arc can be directly correlated to Loose Wet avalanche activity on the snow surface. Timing will be key in avoiding this avalanche problem, as afternoon hours are the most suspect.

Snowpack Discussion

Spatially variable conditions exist as you travel amidst elevation bands & aspects. Exposed North facing slopes above treeline are firm, contrasted by South aspects which are easily shred penetrated & desirable. Any Loose Wet avalanches will be isolated to sun prone slopes or low elevation areas where overnight temps were near or above freezing. Overall stability is very good within the snowpack, the problem lies at the surface due to rapid melting. The storm that was expected recently did not pan-out & we received zero centemeters of new precipitation. Yesterday 1" melted within 24 hours.

CURRENT CONDITIONS Weather observations from Sonora Pass
0600 temperature: 31 deg. F.
Max. temperature in the last 24 hours: 45 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: 81 inches

Overnight temperatures were below freezing at our recording stations making for a solid refreeze in the alpine. Below 8500' in elevation the refreeze will be superficial as temps were hovering just below freezing. The winds will be active today from the N-NE with strong gusts. There is a low potential for blowing snow, as there isn't much that is dry & loose. Clouds will not be a problem for the next couple of days. We seem to be entering into a great Corn cycle with sunny days & cold nights for the week.

Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the Reno NWS
For 8000 ft. to 10000 ft.
  Monday Monday Night Tuesday
Weather: Sunny Clear Sunny
Temperatures: 44 to 54 deg. F. 30 to 35 deg. F. 53 to 63 deg. F.
Wind direction: North North North
Wind speed: 15 to 25 mph; gusts to 45 mph 15 to 25 mph; gusts to 45 mph 15 mph; gusts to 35 mph then becoming light
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. 0 in.
For above 10000 ft.
  Monday Monday Night Tuesday
Weather: Sunny Clear Sunny
Temperatures: 35 to 43 deg. F. 25 to 30 deg. F. 43 to 51 deg. F.
Wind direction: Northeast Northeast Northeast
Wind speed: 20 to 35 mph; gusts to 50 mph 25 to 35 mph; gusts to 60 mph 20 to 30 mph; gusts to 45 mph
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.