|Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.||Natural avalanches unlikely; human-triggered avalanches possible.||Small avalanches in specific areas; or large avalanches in isolated areas.|
Another 1 to 3 inches of snow accumulated in the last 24 hours. Some light snow showers could continue this morning with up to 2 inches of new snow possible along the Sierra Crest. These showers should give way to calmer weather this afternoon and tonight as a small high pressure ridge builds over the area. The forecast calls for another storm to move into the region on Friday and Saturday bringing more snow (up to 3 inches tomorrow) and increased southwest winds.
Yesterday observations on Castle Peak still revealed instabilities associated with wind slabs on wind-loaded slopes. Skier and small cornice piece triggered shooting cracks occurred on wind-loaded N-NE-E aspects in near and above treeline terrain. One test slope also slid with a 14 to 16 inch slab. The wind slabs in this area rested on top of a mix of old crusts and a layer of softer snow at the base of the wind slab. Across I-80 on Wildflower Ridge (Mt. Judah) large cornice pieces did not trigger cracking or slab failures in the slopes below. Snowpit data from near Billy's Peak in the Deep Creek drainage showed increasing stability. Observations from Tamarack Peak and the east ridge of Relay Peak in the Mt. Rose area also did not reveal signs of instability.
Wind slabs should grow more difficult to trigger today, however human-triggered wind slabs will remain possible in certain areas. Convex rollovers, areas near rocks, unsupported slopes, couloirs/gullies, and other complex or extreme terrain on wind-loaded NW-N-NE-E-SE aspects represent the best places to trigger wind slabs, and the places they take longest to stabilize. These wind slabs measure 1 to 2 ft. in depth, and avalanches resulting from their failure could involve enough snow to bury a person especially in the most heavily wind-loaded areas or in areas where terrain traps magnify the consequences of the wind slabs. A mix of old crusts and soft snow layers at the base of the wind slabs can serve as the weak layer. If a person does trigger a wind slab in one of the places where they remain sensitive, these slabs can break above the person who triggers them.
|0600 temperature:||22 to 28 deg. F.|
|Max. temperature in the last 24 hours:||25 to 31 deg. F.|
|Average wind direction during the last 24 hours:||Southwest to South|
|Average wind speed during the last 24 hours:||20 mph|
|Maximum wind gust in the last 24 hours:||37 mph|
|New snowfall in the last 24 hours:||1 to 3 inches|
|Total snow depth:||25 to 39 inches|
This avalanche advisory is provided through a partnership between the Tahoe National Forest and the Sierra Avalanche Center. This advisory covers the Central Sierra Nevada Mountains between Yuba Pass on the north and Ebbetts Pass on the south. Click here for a map of the forecast area. This advisory applies only to backcountry areas outside established ski area boundaries. This advisory describes general avalanche conditions and local variations always occur. This advisory expires 24 hours after the posted time unless otherwise noted. The information in this advisory is provided by the USDA Forest Service who is solely responsible for its content.