THIS SNOWPACK SUMMARY EXPIRED ON February 17, 2017 @ 9:17 am
Snowpack Summary published on February 15, 2017 @ 9:17 am
Issued by Kyle Van Peursem - Bridgeport Avalanche Center

bottom line:

Wednesday:  Generally stable snowpack conditions will persist today as high pressure dominates our weather for 1 more day.  With sunny skies and warm temperatures, wet-loose avalanches will be possible on southern facing aspects and human triggered avalanches may be possible on these slopes.

Thursday:  The avalanche danger will increase during the day as the first in a series of storms moves through our area.  Modest snowfall accumulations combined with strong ridgetop winds will lead to the possibility of human triggered wind slab avalanches.

Avalanche Character 1: Loose Wet
Loose Wet avalanches occur when water is running through the snowpack, and release at or below the trigger point. Avoid very steep slopes and terrain traps such as cliffs, gullies, or tree wells. Exit avalanche terrain when you see pinwheels, roller balls, a slushy surface, or during rain-on-snow events.

Wednesday:  High pressure will dominate our weather for one more day bringing continued sunny skies and temperatures in the mid to upper 40's.  Solar aspects will get hit hard again today which will increase the likliehood of triggering a loose-wet avalanche in the afternoon.  Though small and generally harmless, these slides can be dangerous when riding in high consequence terrain.  Look for roller balls originating from rock outcroppings and avoid riding on southerly slopes in the afternoon above dangerous terrain.

Avalanche Character 2: Wind Slab
Wind Slab avalanches release naturally during wind events and can be triggered for up to a week after a wind event. They form in lee and cross-loaded terrain features. Avoid them by sticking to wind sheltered or wind scoured areas.

Thursday:  6-10" of new snow is expected in the BWRA Thursday and will be accompanied by strong SW ridgetop winds, with gusts between 80-100 mph.  Though the snow amounts will be modest, it will be enough to load exposed NW-N-NE-SE facing slopes and create sensitive wind slabs, easily triggered by a rider.  Look for pillows, hollow sounding snow, and cornices and remian off slopes steeper than 35 degrees with these features.

recent observations

Snow profiles were gathered from the Leavitt Lake and Voodoo Bowl areas yesterday and showed a generally stable snowpack, though small near-surface facets were developing in both locations.  The wind will likely destroy this weak surface layer before getting buried by new snow though.


High pressure hangs in for one more today before the first in a series of 4 storm systems impacts our area on Thursday.  6-10" of snow are expected coupled with strong SW ridgetop winds.  We get a break Thursday afternoon and Friday morning before the next stronger storm begins to impact our area Friday afternoon through Saturday afternoon which could bring an additional 1-1.5  feet of snow.

Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the Reno NWS
For 8000 ft. to 10000 ft.
  Wednesday Wednesday Night Thursday
Weather: Sunny then becoming mostly cloudy. Mostly cloudy. Mostly cloudy.
Temperatures: 42 to 48 deg. F. 29 to 34 deg. F. 31 to 37 deg. F.
Wind direction: SW SW
Wind speed: Light winds becoming southwest 10 to 15 mph with gusts to 30 mph in the afternoon 15 to 25 mph. Gusts up to 40 mph increasing to 70 mph after midnight 20 to 35 mph with gusts to 85 mph
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. up to 6 in.
For above 10000 ft.
  Wednesday Wednesday Night Thursday
Weather: Sunny then becoming mostly cloudy Mostly cloudy Cloudy with snow
Temperatures: 36 to 42 deg. F. 25 to 30 deg. F. 26 to 32 deg. F.
Wind direction: Light winds becoming southwest SW SW
Wind speed: 10 to 15 mph with gusts to 40 mph in the afternoon 15 to 25 mph with gusts to 50 mph increasing to 25 to 35 mph with gusts to 85 mph after midnight 40 to 60 mph. Gusts up to 110 mph increasing to 125 mph in the afternoon
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. 6-10 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.