Mammoth Basin Snowpack Summary - 2015-04-04 09:25

THIS ADVISORY EXPIRED ON April 6, 2015 @ 5:25 pm
Avalanche Advisory published on April 4, 2015 @ 9:25 am
Issued by Sue Burak - Inyo National Forest
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.
Snowpack Discussion

Generally stable conditions exist and human triggered avalanches are unlikely today. If tomorrow’s storm produces a few inches of high elevation snow, you may find small wind slabs near ridges in alpine terrain. The sun softened the snow yesterday on north facing slopes up to about 10,000 ft. Firm hard wind affected surfaces with areas of softer recrystallized snow were found higher in the Red Cone Bowl. The cooling trend that began Tuesday jumpstarted the faceting process and large facets are growing under the prominent February layer at about 50 cm down from the surface. Hopefully there will be a few inches of snow to refresh conditions by next week. Snowpit profiles will be posted later today.

Even though the snow pillow on Mammoth Pass shows 0 for depth, a few hundred meters to the south, skiable snow with depths ranging from 2 to 3 ft. are found in the north facing slopes along the Mammoth Crest from Mammoth Pass to Duck Pass. After this driest of years, I have come to appreciate the unique topographically setting of the basin- there was skiable snow from December through April on north facing slopes. The low elevation of the Sierra Crest allows storms to move through the gap and drop more precipitation on the east side than in most other areas along the eastern Sierra escarpment.

Today, enjoy generally safe avalanche conditions buy always use normal caution by evaluating slopes you plan to ski or ride and travel one at a time in steep avalanche terrain.

CURRENT CONDITIONS Weather Observations Between June (10,000 ft.) and Mammoth (11,000 ft.)
0600 temperature: 21 deg. F.
Max. temperature in the last 24 hours: 35 deg. F.
Average wind direction during the last 24 hours: WSW
Average wind speed during the last 24 hours: 30 mph
Maximum wind gust in the last 24 hours: 38 mph
New snowfall in the last 24 hours: 0 inches
Total snow depth: 0-24 inches

This morning’s temperatures are in the low 20’s F. WSW winds are blowing 30 to 35 mph across the top of Mammoth Mountain. The National Weather Service is watching two systems, one for tomorrow and a second one that impacts our area Tuesday into Wednesday.

Southwest winds will pick up later today and increase for Easter Sunday. There is a 40% chance of precipitation tomorrow but the main weather event will be the wind.  The more interesting storm is a cut-off low forecasted to move south over our area Tuesday and bring snow to Mono County. These cut off lows produce narrow bands of heavy snow and if positioned favorably to the north and east of Mono Lake, upslope showers could bring significant snowfall- whatever that means in this dry year.  

Daytime highs today will reach the mid 40’s at the 9,000 to 10,000 ft. elevations. Southwest winds will increase 20-30 mph today to 45- 60 mph on Sunday. Easter Sunday will be cold, windy with snow showers at the higher elevations. 

Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the Reno NWS
For 8,000 ft. to 10,000 ft.
  Saturday Saturday Night Sunday
Weather: partly cloudy mostly cloudy clouds, chance of snow
Temperatures: 40-45 deg. F. 27 deg. F. 29-32 deg. F.
Wind direction: SW SW SW
Wind speed: 15-25 20-30 35-45, gusts to 62
Expected snowfall: 0 in. T in. 1? in.
Over 10,000 ft.
  Saturday Saturday Night Sunday
Weather: partly cloudy cloudy cloudy
Temperatures: 36-40 deg. F. 20-26 deg. F. 24-30 deg. F.
Wind direction: SW SW SW
Wind speed: 20-30 30-40 40-50, gusts to 75
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. 0-2" in.

This snowpack summary applies only to backcountry areas outside established ski area boundaries. This snowpack summary only describes general avalanche conditions and local variations always occur. This snowpack summary expires 24 hours after the posted time unless otherwise noted. The information in this snowpack summary is provided by the USDA Forest Service who is solely responsible for its content.

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