A ferocious precipitation event is underway with strong winds from the Southwest. This storm snow is blowing hard & depositing on North though Southeast aspects creating wind slabs. Wind slabs will be tender for several days & with these storm totals will be very thick & highly variable. Expect cornices, crossloading, irregular deposition pockets, & natural avalanches to occur in widespread fashion.
New snow totals will be around 3-4' throughout the storms duration with winds strong out of the Southwest. If you travel in the higher elevations, where more has accumulated, your probability of triggering large scale avalanches increases. It will take time & slow subtle atmospheric changes to allow stability of the new snow.
Deposited snow that has been protected by trees from the wind will be a concern. Precipitation that has fallen on Northerly aspects, with this wind protection, are suspect to human triggered avalanches. Don't be lured by untracked powder.
Warm & springlike conditions had begun to shape the snowpack until yesterdays winter storm rolled into the BWRA. Surface corn snow was variable in density but able to be penetrated with a boot up to 12". 6cm of new snow was being blown around by strong winds out of the West but seemed to bond well to the corn surface. When temperatures remain above freezing at night & the snowpack warms to a constant Zero degrees celsius, isothermal snowpack conditions exist. An isothermal snowpack contains available moisture to create & destroy bonds as the temperature permits. Strong, homogenous bonds usually mean a more stable snowpack overall when it is this deep & cold. Although, rapid precipitation & strong winds will make the new surface snow unstable.
Strong wind will continue today with multiple rounds of heavy rain and higher elevation snow. Snow, snow pellet showers, and potentially some isolated thunderstorms will bring additional accumulations Saturday as low as western Nevada valley floors. A drier pattern is likely for early next week with another moderate storm possible for the end of next week.
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.
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