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