Snowpack Summary published on March 31, 2021 @ 8:03 am
Issued by Jason Mozol - Bridgeport Avalanche Center

bottom line:

Sunny, spring days are upon us, bringing an increased likelihood of loose wet avalanches. Lower elevations and southerly aspects will be most susceptible to solar warming and present the greatest hazard. Get an early start and avoid areas of unconsolidated, wet snow.

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.

Yesterday, small, loose wet avalanches were observed in the Virginia Lakes area in the afternoon. Today, similar conditions are expected with clear skies allowing solar warming of the snow surface. Last night’s frozen layer of snow will thaw, become wet and result in more loose wet avalanches. As the snow becomes unsupportable, adjusting your aspect to places that have received less sun is the best way to avoid these avalanches. Snow shedding off of rocks, sinking into the snow above your boots and both natural and human triggered rollerballs are signs it’s time to switch aspects or find lower angle terrain.

Snowpack Discussion

Recent freeze/thaw cycles have left little available snow for this week’s gusty, high elevation winds to transport. Wind slab development will be minimal but keep an eye out in exposed, above treeline terrain for small areas of drifted snow. 


CalTrans is currently plowing Hwy 108. Please park respectfully; leaving space for them to pass through with their equipment.

CURRENT CONDITIONS Weather observations from Sonora Pass
0600 temperature: 31 deg. F.
Max. temperature in the last 24 hours: 38 deg. F.
Average wind direction during the last 24 hours: E-SW
Average wind speed during the last 24 hours: 5 mph
Maximum wind gust in the last 24 hours: 13 mph
New snowfall in the last 24 hours: 0 inches
Total snow depth: 99 inches

Skies are expected to remain clear into the weekend with high temperatures in the mid-upper 40's in the mountains. Today, gusty winds will kick up from the E, gusting to 30+ mph and continue throughout the week.

Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the Reno NWS
For 8000 ft. to 10000 ft.
  Wednesday Wednesday Night Thursday
Weather: Sunny Clear Sunny
Temperatures: 47 deg. F. 27 deg. F. 49 deg. F.
Wind direction: N SW SW
Wind speed: 5-10mph, gusting to 20 mph 5-10mph 5-10mph, gusting to 25 mph
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. 0 in.
For above 10000 ft.
  Wednesday Wednesday Night Thursday
Weather: Sunny Clear Sunny
Temperatures: 49 deg. F. 24 deg. F. 50 deg. F.
Wind direction: NE E SW
Wind speed: 5-15mph 5mph 5-15mph, gusting to 25 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.