THIS SNOWPACK SUMMARY EXPIRED ON January 16, 2022 @ 6:59 am
Snowpack Summary published on January 14, 2022 @ 6:59 am
Issued by Julian Hanna - Avalanche Specialist

bottom line:

Human triggered avalanches are unlikely today.  Any areas of unstable snow that exist will be isolated. Follow safe travel protocols to limit your exposure, look for signs of isolated instability and carefully consider the consequences of avalanches in steep terrain. 

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.

Generally safe avalanche conditions exist. Isolated pockets of snow-covered complex terrain can increase the hazards of mountain travel. Slopes that get direct sun throughout the day can increase the hazard of unstable snow. Move through terrain in ways that minimize exposure to avalanches.

Snowpack Discussion

A wintry mix of surface crusts on all aspects, consolidation throughout the snowpack, and strong solar gain on southern aspects was observed this week. The range felt spring-like. Temperatures spiked to 51 F at Virginia Lakes this week and the snow on solar aspects was a mix of melt-freeze up high and heavy and wet grains down low, almost touching on a corn cycle. In the Northern aspects the snow was cold and dry. Edgeable, supportable crusts with a mixture of smooth and ribboned surfaces were found in most locations. Shallow pockets of re-deposited powder in low angle alpine meadows were rare. Various pit locations from Virginia Lakes to Sonora pass show a well consolidated pack with a few cm’s of basal facets that have been gaining strength.

CURRENT CONDITIONS Weather observations from Sonora Pass
0600 temperature: 19 deg. F.
Max. temperature in the last 24 hours: 47 deg. F.
Average wind direction during the last 24 hours: -
Average wind speed during the last 24 hours: - mph
Maximum wind gust in the last 24 hours: - mph
New snowfall in the last 24 hours: 0 inches
Total snow depth: 44 inches

Mostly sunny, with a high near 38. Northwest wind 5 to 15 mph becoming east in the morning. Winds could gust as high as 25 mph. Persistent high pressure dominates our forecast area. We have received some minor weather fluctuations with an increase in wind and cloud cover but no measurable precipitation is forecasted for the next several days. A ridge of high pressure builds this weekend prolonging dry conditions into the middle of next week.

Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the Reno NWS
For 8000 ft. to 10000 ft.
  Friday Friday Night Saturday
Weather: Partly cloudy. Mostly cloudy then becoming partly cloudy. Partly cloudy.
Temperatures: 31 to 37 deg. F. 16 to 21 deg. F. 35-41 deg. F.
Wind direction: becoming East. Southeast. Southeast.
Wind speed: Light winds around 15 mph in the afternoon. Gusts up to 30 mph. 15mph with gusts to 30mph 15 mph in the morning becoming light. Gusts up to 30 mph.
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. 0 in.
For above 10000 ft.
  Friday Friday Night Saturday
Weather: partly cloudy. Mostly cloudy then becoming partly cloudy. Partly cloudy
Temperatures: 24-32 deg. F. 12-17 deg. F. 28 to 36 deg. F.
Wind direction: Northeast. Southeast. Southeast
Wind speed: 15 to 25 mph. Gusts up to 25 mph increasing to 50 mph in the afternoon. 15 to 30 mph with gusts to 45 mph. 15 to 25 mph with gusts to 40 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.