THIS SNOWPACK SUMMARY EXPIRED ON January 15, 2021 @ 9:10 am
Snowpack Summary published on January 13, 2021 @ 9:10 am
Issued by Jason Mozol - Bridgeport Avalanche Center

bottom line:

The BWRA remains closed to motorized recreation due to low snow depths in Sardine Meadows and the Leavitt Lake/108 junction. If you are going to recreate, please be responsible and avoid off-road motorized riding. 

Avalanches are unlikely at the moment, but isolated areas of unstable snow still exist. Use normal caution and good backcountry practices to reduce your risks when traveling in the backcountry. Our snowpack is still very shallow and there are many hazards hidden just under the surface. 

 
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.

Avalanches may be unlikely and isolated right now, but they are also hard to predict and could be consequential, especially in extreme terrain. Determine the risk vs. reward of traveling in avalanche terrain. There is widespread poor snowpack structure in our zone. Strong slabs of snow rest above weaker layers. Snowpit tests show that the persistent weak layers have mostly adjusted to the load above, but if you hit just the right spot you could still trigger an avalanche. You may not see any signs of instability before this happens. The snowpack is still very thin and the recent sun and strong wind events have shaped snow surfaces in most areas into a variable mix of wind board, wind crusts, sastrugi, and sun crusts. Some protected slopes still hold recycled powder but they are also thin. Hitting buried objects is a significant hazard. Use normal caution and good backcountry practices to reduce your risks when travelling in the backcountry.

recent observations

Recent observations continue to find large grained facets and depth hoar from November snowfall at the base of our snowpack. Variable slabs of snow rest on these weak layers. Snowpits show that the weak layers have mostly adjusted to the load, but still could produce propagation given the right trigger.

Recent sun and strong wind events have created variable snow surface conditions. Many areas are wind scoured to the ground, and others have a mix of wind board, wind crusts, sastrugi and sun crusts at the snow surface. 

The January 6th storm brought 3 inches of new snow to the higher elevations. High wind speeds during the storm did not allow much, if any snow to settle. Adding little to the snowpack.

The snowpack remains very thin and we are all hoping for more snow.

CURRENT CONDITIONS Weather observations from Sonora Pass
0600 temperature: 38 deg. F.
Max. temperature in the last 24 hours: 40 deg. F.
Average wind direction during the last 24 hours: WSW
Average wind speed during the last 24 hours: 10-20 mph
Maximum wind gust in the last 24 hours: 43 mph
New snowfall in the last 24 hours: 0 inches
Total snow depth: 39 inches
weather

An atmospheric river currently impacting the Pacific Northwest is bringing us increased temperatures, clouds, and winds today. As the storm passes by to our north, the winds and clouds will decrease into tomorrow. Warm temperatures and sunny skies are expected for Thursday.

Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the Reno NWS
For 8000 ft. to 10000 ft.
  Wednesday Wednesday Night Thursday
Weather: Mostly cloudy then becoming partly cloudy Clear Sunny
Temperatures: 42 to 52 deg. F. 29 to 35 deg. F. 44 to 52 deg. F.
Wind direction: W NW NW
Wind speed: Around 15 mph with gusts to 40 mph Around 15 mph in the evening becoming light. Gusts up to 30 mph Light winds becoming northwest around 15 mph with gusts to 35 mph in the afternoon
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. 0 in.
For above 10000 ft.
  Wednesday Wednesday Night Thursday
Weather: Mostly cloudy then becoming partly cloudy Clear Sunny
Temperatures: 36 to 44 deg. F. 29 to 35 deg. F. 36 to 44 deg. F.
Wind direction: W NW NW
Wind speed: 15 to 30 mph. Gusts up to 55 mph decreasing to 40 mph in the afternoon 15 to 25 mph with gusts to 40 mph 15 to 30 mph. Gusts up to 35 mph increasing to 45 mph in the afternoon
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.