THIS SNOWPACK SUMMARY EXPIRED ON February 12, 2021 @ 8:25 am
Snowpack Summary published on February 9, 2021 @ 8:25 am
Issued by Jason Mozol - Bridgeport Avalanche Center

bottom line:

Generally safe avalanche conditions exist. Watch for lingering unstable wind slabs in isolated terrain. Areas where the snowpack is thin may be a trigger point for any instability caused by the lingering weak layer that is now buried deep within the snowpack. Natural and human triggered avalanches are unlikely.

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.

Wind slabs have presented as unreactive in recent observations. Time has allowed the majority of the wind slab problem to bond with the pre existing snow. In some extreme or Isolated terrain triggering a small wind slab remains possible.

 

The deep persistent slab problem that we have been tracking on NW-N-NE-E aspects has shown no signs of  failure in recent snowpack stability tests.  Just because it didn't fail where you or I dug a pit doesn't mean it won’t fail in an outlying location. A skier or sled may be enough to trigger a medium sized avalanche in isolated areas that have a shallower snowpack. Such as convex slopes, rock outcroppings and edges of wind affected terrain

 
Snowpack Discussion

In the past 11 days, 15 fatalities have occurred nationwide from avalanches. This news is heartbreaking to all in the back country community. We send our condolences to the friends and families impacted from recent events. The fatalities are a large number, but the impacts felt within the community are larger. Each individual was seeking a fun day in the backcountry just as you or I have. Each individual had a family, friends and ski partners that now feel a void. You may feel the urge to Monday morning quarterback and dismiss these tragedies as something that won’t happen to you. I urge you to read the accident reports, learn from these incidents and remember returning home is always the number 1 priority.

Just because it’s a Normal caution day does not mean safe travel practices can be thrown to the wind. Hazards still remain in isolated areas and can impact your day with an unwanted consequence if a slab is triggered.  

Having a vigilant mindset and developing good habits are essential to staying safe in the backcountry. Check the forecast…...travel one at a time in avalanche terrain……. have an escape route….. communicate with your group……... and pause at critical decision points are a few habits you and your group can practice everyday.

 
recent observations

Crater Crest E. ridge had a pencil hard wind slab on the surface, 8” thick in some locations.

Leavitt Lake NE slope revealed a well bonded snowpack with facets buried 4ft deep.

CURRENT CONDITIONS Weather observations from Sonora Pass
0600 temperature: 27 deg. F.
Max. temperature in the last 24 hours: 39 deg. F.
Average wind direction during the last 24 hours: 26
Average wind speed during the last 24 hours: W 5 mph
Maximum wind gust in the last 24 hours: W 17 mph
New snowfall in the last 24 hours: 0 inches
Total snow depth: 84 inches
weather

Beginning late Tuesday a series of storms will begin to impact our area. The intensity of the storms will increase as the week progresses, with the strongest system delivering the most snowfall on Thursday. Tuesday through Wednesday may only see an inch of snow accumulation, while Thursday night is forecasted to bring 3-7in. Temperatures could reach mid thirties and lows in the high teens.  Winds will be strong at times and from the W-SW. We are keeping our eye on another low pressure system that is next in line to arrive this weekend. 

 

Temperatures at the Leavitt Lake snotel site ( 9,604 ft) have been warm for February. Night time lows over the past few days have  barely reached freezing.  This morning's low of 26F is a welcome change that will slow the melting around Leavitt Meadows.

 
Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the Reno NWS
For 8000 ft. to 10000 ft.
  Tuesday Tuesday Night Wednesday
Weather: Mostly cloudy. Slight chance of snow. Mostly cloudy. Partly cloudy.
Temperatures: 31 to 39. deg. F. 19 to 24. deg. F. 33 to 41. deg. F.
Wind direction: West West West
Wind speed: 15 to 30 mph with gusts up to 45 mph decreasing to 10 to 20 mph in the afternoon. 5 to 15 mph with gusts to 25 mph. 5 to 15 mph with gusts to 25 mph.
Expected snowfall: up to 1 inch. in. No accumulation. in. No accumulation. in.
For above 10000 ft.
  Tuesday Tuesday Night Wednesday
Weather: Mostly cloudy. Slight chance of snow. Mostly cloudy. Partly cloudy then becoming sunny.
Temperatures: 24 to 29. deg. F. 14 to 19. deg. F. 24 to 29. deg. F.
Wind direction: West West West
Wind speed: 30 to 45 mph with gusts to 60 mph becoming 20 to 30 mph in the afternoon. 15 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph. 15 to 25 mph with gusts to 40 mph.
Expected snowfall: up to 1 inch. in. No accumulation. in. No accumulation. 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.