THIS SNOWPACK SUMMARY EXPIRED ON April 11, 2021 @ 8:03 am
Snowpack Summary published on April 10, 2021 @ 8:03 am
Issued by Arden Feldman - Bridgeport Avalanche Center

bottom line:

Loose wet avalanches will become possible today as the strong spring sunshine melts last night’s freeze. The hazard will be most pronounced in the afternoon on sustained, steep southerly facing slopes at all elevations and lower elevation northerly slopes. Get out early and be on the lookout for signs of wet snow instability.

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.

Overnight temperatures near freezing combined with clear skies allowed for a decent refreeze last night. As today’s strong spring sunshine and warm temperatures melt through the freeze, loose wet avalanches will become possible on southerly slopes at all elevations and lower elevation northerly slopes. These avalanches will be largest on sustained steep slopes, but even a small avalanche can have a nasty outcome in the wrong spot. Consider the consequences of terrain traps and extreme terrain before committing to a slope. The hazard will be most pronounced during the heat of the day in the afternoon, but the snow may heat up quicker than expected around heat sources like rocks and cliffs. Rollerballs and ankle deep or deeper wet snow are signs that the slope is getting too wet. The slope doesn’t need to be fully unsupportable for a wet loose avalanche to happen. Get out early to avoid the loose wet avalanche hazard. 

Snowpack Discussion

Recently observers have found thick melt-freeze crusts on the southern half of the compass at all elevations in the mornings By mid to late morning, these surfaces have started melting providing enjoyable spring skiing conditions. By the afternoon they are generally too wet with deep unconsolidated wet snow. Northerlies are still transitioning to a springtime melt freeze snowpack. Most northerlies have a layer of melt freeze grains at the surface above dry snow while some steep, high elevation northerlies continue to hold dry snow at the surface. 

The diurnal melt-freeze cycles are forecasted to continue over the next few days bringing similar avalanche conditions. Continue to conduct your own localized snowpack assessments to confirm the overnight freeze and track daytime warming of the snowpack. Avoid the hazard by getting off slopes before they get too wet. This time of year it’s critical to get out early and pay attention to the warming snowpack. Consider using the warm afternoon weather to do some beacon practice rather than ride steep slopes.

CURRENT CONDITIONS Weather observations from Sonora Pass
0600 temperature: 33 deg. F.
Max. temperature in the last 24 hours: 47 deg. F.
Average wind direction during the last 24 hours: SW
Average wind speed during the last 24 hours: 10 - 20 mph
Maximum wind gust in the last 24 hours: 35 mph
New snowfall in the last 24 hours: 0 inches
Total snow depth: 88 inches
weather

Warm and dry weather with generally light winds are forecasted through Monday with overnight temperatures near freezing. Unsettled cooler and potentially showery weather is forecasted for the middle of next week.

Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the Reno NWS
For 8000 ft. to 10000 ft.
  Saturday Saturday Night Sunday
Weather: Sunny. Clear. Sunny.
Temperatures: 47 to 57 deg. F. 28 to 34 deg. F. 49 to 59 deg. F.
Wind direction: Northwest West
Wind speed: Around 15 mph with gusts to 30 mph. Around 15 mph with gusts to 25 mph in the evening becoming light. Light winds.
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. 0 in.
For above 10000 ft.
  Saturday Saturday Night Sunday
Weather: Sunny. Clear. Partly cloudy then becoming sunny.
Temperatures: 36 to 46 deg. F. 23 to 29 deg. F. 39 to 49 deg. F.
Wind direction: Northwest West West
Wind speed: Around 15 mph with gusts to 30 mph. Around 15 mph with gusts to 25 mph. Around 15 mph. Gusts up to 25 mph in the morning.
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.