Winds will be moderate out of the Southwest 15-20 mph gusting to 70 mph in the higher elevations, with blowing snow. This blowing snow will form wind slabs & add mass to already humongous cornices around the BWRA. Expect surface wind scouring on Southwest faces & snow deposition on North through Southeast aspects. With enough wind loading slabs will be elongated further down the slope & more easily triggered by humans.
Warm temperatures & rain are forecasted below 8000' increasing the risk of loose wet avalanches. After the storm passes sun will resume & the risk of this type of avalanche will become apparent in the higher elevations. Overnight temperatures are mild which will allow for more rapid melting overall. Look for cinnamon bun style roller-balls & point releases throughout your travels, a good instability indicator.
Intricate almond-barrel looking cornices have been seen lately. Moderate to strong winds help create these delicate cornices which ultimately break & usually cause more snow entrainment as they fall. Do not approach or linger too long under these features as they can collapse without warning & contain tons of snow.
We have an incredibly deep snowpack which is getting deeper with spring storms. YO-yo like windy storms & high pressure periods in between have effected the snowpack in a variety of ways. Multiple melt-freeze crusts & compressed wind slabs are apparent throughout, but a right-side-up snowpack exists overall. A graupel layer had been locally deposited & was the catalyst for human-triggered avalanche propagation on a couple North facing slopes in the Leavitt Creek & Cirque.
A layer of Graupel fell early in the last snow storm & was deposited in layers on a few Northern aspects. Three human triggered avalanches were observed Friday as a result of this situation. Please read more in the After Avalanche Investigation @ Leavitt Creek observation.
Breezy conditions and Sierra showers continue today with the next weather disturbance producing additional valley rainfall and higher elevation snowfall today through Tuesday. After a final weak system Wednesday night and Thursday, a drier trend with a significant warm up is expected heading into the weekend.
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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