THIS SNOWPACK SUMMARY EXPIRED ON April 15, 2021 @ 8:36 am
Snowpack Summary published on April 14, 2021 @ 8:36 am
Issued by Jason Mozol - Bridgeport Avalanche Center

bottom line:

There’s uncertainty as to how much snow will fall today with localized areas receiving up to 8”. Isolated wind slabs will form in exposed, near and above tree line terrain. Storm slabs may develop in locations receiving the high end of the forecast. Be alert to the first thunder and lightning of the year that may accompany this storm.

Avalanche Character 1: Wind Slab
Wind Slab avalanches release naturally during wind events and can be triggered for up to a week after a wind event. They form in lee and cross-loaded terrain features. Avoid them by sticking to wind sheltered or wind scoured areas.

Wind slabs will be possible today. Gusty W-NW winds will form slabs on N-NE-E-SE-S aspects in near and above tree line terrain. Leeward areas over ridges and below cliffs are best at collecting snow and forming slabs. Pay attention to current conditions in your area as the strongest winds and most snowfall will be very localized. Avalanche danger will be greater in the localized areas receiving the most snow. Avoid wind drifted or pillow like features. Cracking or collapsing in the snowpack are strong indicators of instability. 

Avalanche Character 2: Storm Slab
Storm Slab avalanches release naturally during snow storms and can be triggered for a few days after a storm. They often release at or below the trigger point. They exist throughout the terrain. Avoid them by waiting for the storm snow to stabilize.

Storm slabs are unlikely today and isolated to areas that receive the high end of the forecasted snowfall. Storm slabs will form in protected areas, away from the wind. Again, be mindful of what conditions are in your location. Heavy snowfall and accumulations over 6” are indicators that the potential for storm slabs is rising. 

Snowpack Discussion

Following today’s storm will be a return to sunny days and spring like conditions. Spring travel conditions mean an increased likelihood for loose wet avalanches. The new layer of snow will be especially susceptible to warming quickly and becoming unstable as clouds clear Thursday. Pay attention to how quickly the snow surface is warming and as it becomes wet, move out of avalanche terrain. 

 

Sunday April 18th will be the final day for motorized use in the BWRA. Unfortunately, low snow conditions necessitate ending the motorized use season. This will include travel along Leavitt lake road until it dries out and the gate is opened for summer use. The BWRA remains open to non-motorized use, skiing, hiking, snowshoeing etc.  

 

Our final snowpack summary of the season, focused on general spring avalanche conditions, will be posted Friday. 

 

CalTrans is currently plowing Hwy 108 and the road is snow free up to the Levitt Lake junction. Please park respectfully; leaving space for them to pass through with their equipment.

CURRENT CONDITIONS Weather observations from Sonora Pass
0600 temperature: 22 deg. F.
Max. temperature in the last 24 hours: 36 deg. F.
Average wind direction during the last 24 hours: SW
Average wind speed during the last 24 hours: 10-50 mph
Maximum wind gust in the last 24 hours: 88 mph
New snowfall in the last 24 hours: 0 inches
Total snow depth: 84 inches
weather

Overcast skies and localized snowfall is expected today and into the night, with isolated areas receiving as much as 8” of snow. Thunder and lightning may accompany this storm. Winds from the W-NW will build this afternoon with gusts up to 15-25 mph. High temperatures will reach the mid 30’s at upper elevations and mid 40’s a lower elevations.  

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. Scattered snow showers through the day. Isolated thunderstorms in the afternoon. Mostly cloudy then becoming clear. Scattered snow in the evening. Sunny.
Temperatures: 37-42 deg. F. 21-27 deg. F. 44-49 deg. F.
Wind direction: NW
Wind speed: 15mph, gusting to 25mph Light Light
Expected snowfall: 1-3 in. 1 in. 0 in.
For above 10000 ft.
  Wednesday Wednesday Night Thursday
Weather: Mostly cloudy. Scattered snow showers through the day. Isolated thunderstorms in the afternoon. Mostly cloudy then becoming clear. Scattered snow in the evening. Sunny
Temperatures: 31-37 deg. F. 18-24 deg. F. 39-45 deg. F.
Wind direction: NW W W
Wind speed: 15mph, gusts to 30mph 15mph, gusts to 30mph 15mph, gusts to 30mph
Expected snowfall: 1-5 in. 2 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.