There is no “Normal”

“What is “normal” to the spider is chaos to the fly.”

In this case Mother Nature is the spider… you can take a good guess at who the fly might be…

I encourage you to check out the http://www.tahoeweatherblog.com/ latest post on this summer and next year. Although technical, it is a good read and worthy of your time. Keep in mind that these guys were the only ones to predict the January Dumpapalooza three weeks out… They are normally the most accurate for the East side of the Sierra’s but this winter they were exceptional on their forecasts relative to other forecasters. In any event, our weather is changing if you haven’t noticed, which will have implications on your lifestyle.

In other news, today ushers in clouds and wind as a precursor to the rapid drop down of temps and snow this weekend. A trough is headed our way and we are already feeling the effects of the SW gusts. Lifts may be on wind hold today so check the website before coming up. Snow is in the forecast for both Sat and Sun although not huge amounts.

“Are we done with avalanches for the Year?” someone asked me yesterday…

A resolute “NO” is the answer! Wet slide conditions on just about all slopes will again rear their ugly heads as snow heats up with the sun’s (yes, even through the clouds) radiation and temps continue to be issues late morning into the evening. All BC users should exercise caution when skiing or traversing across steep terrain. Most are small and their effects negligible and/or avoidable.  However, there are places in the Sierra with steep terrain where the slide will appear innocuous enough at their meager beginnings of your ski tracks, but but pick speed and major amounts of snow that ultimately result in a  freight train of snow moving at 40 to 60 mph and many feet deep in terrain traps like steep and deep gulches and couloirs or at the bottom of bowls. You won’t be out skiing that… especially if you are being may-tagged. In fact, this week I am still seeing many thousand foot run outs in big mountain terrain in the Sierra’s. As temps drop tomorrow all that will change and more typical avy conditions of mid winter will be the result including storm and wind slabs in wind deposition areas on the leeward sides of ridges. Just because the Sierra Avalanche Center is done for the year doesn’t mean the slides are (they don’t appear to read the reports much anyway).

So, today slopes will warm again for the last day for awhile as we head back into winter tomorrow. I hope you enjoyed this week of warm weather, I know I did. And good luck to you, come what may.

Sven

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