Thursday, March 22, 2012

Low, But With Instabilities

Low avy bulletins are usually pretty boring.  But the March 9 Eastern Sierra bulletin discussed numerous weaknesses in the snowpack, despite the Low overall rating.

Avalanche forecasters come from many backgrounds, and the writer of that bulletin is a true snow scientist.  But she wasn't just getting carried away with the details of a Low rating.  In typical Sierra fashion, a big snowstorm was on the way, coming on top of all those instabilities.

Here's the result in the form of the March 17 bulletin:
The avalanche danger is HIGH. Over two feet of new snow has fallen overnight. Natural avalanches with crowns 2 to 3 feet thick are running on June Mountain. Natural and human triggered avalanches are very likely today. Large avalanches will occur in many areas. Very large avalanches can occur in steep wind loaded terrain. 
Heavy snow continues to fall on a weak snowpack adding to the unstable conditions. 

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