Eastern Sierra Avalanche Forecast - 12/27/13

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THIS AVALANCHE ADVISORY EXPIRED ON December 28, 2013 @ 5:28 pm
Avalanche Advisory published on December 27, 2013 @ 5:28 pm
Issued by Sue Burak - Inyo National Forest
bottom line

We are still without sufficient snow cover to warrant daily avalanche advisories. I am making snowpack observations and posting them to the observations section.

How to read the advisory

Bottom Line

We are still without sufficient snow cover to warrant daily avalanche advisories. I am making snowpack observations and posting them to the observations section.

recent observations

Snowpack observations in the Mammoth Basin, Dry Creek and Rock Creek are limited by the meager depth of snow. Snow cover is generally continuous on north aspects but thin. Our pit yesterday in the Earthquake Dome area was 15 cm or 6" deep.  Rock Creek snow depth in the meadow close to Rock Creek Lodge had 6-10" of facets sandwiched between suncrusts.  Above treeline, slopes are stripped from the strong north wind event after the last  "storm" on December 20. Snow structure in all areas is facets with thin suncrusts or wind crusts. Slopes at and below treeline in the Mammoth Lakes Basin can have settled powder for careful skiing.

This afternoon, the National Weather Service mentioned the possibility of a wet pattern starting around the January 7-11 timeframe.  I think the combination of significant snowfall and weak snow structure, especially in areas where snowcover is continuous and deeper than 12" is a recipe for dangerous avalanche conditions - IF and only IF, the long range forecast verifies within a 5-10 day time frame. 

CURRENT CONDITIONS Weather Observations Between June (10,000 ft.) and Mammoth (11,000 ft.)
0600 temperature: 15 deg. F.
Max. temperature in the last 24 hours: 47 deg. F.
Average wind direction during the last 24 hours: NE -E
Average wind speed during the last 24 hours: 5-10 mph
Maximum wind gust in the last 24 hours: 10 mph
New snowfall in the last 24 hours: 0 inches
Total snow depth: 15 inches
Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the Reno NWS
For 8,000 ft. to 10,000 ft.
  Friday Friday Night Saturday
Weather: mostly cloudy mostly cloudy partly cloudy
Temperatures: 47-33 deg. F. 24-30 deg. F. 40-46 deg. F.
Wind direction: SW W W
Wind speed: 10-15 15-20 15-25
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. 0 in.
Over 10,000 ft.
  Friday Friday Night Saturday
Weather: sunny mostly cloudy partly cloudy
Temperatures: 40-48 deg. F. 19-27 deg. F. 33-42 deg. F.
Wind direction: SW W NW
Wind speed: 10-15 15-20 15-25
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. 0 in.
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