Pre Storm Snow Surface Conditions

Location Name: 
2nd Choice
Region: 
BWRA
Date and time of observation: 
Mon, 12/24/2018 - 14:00
Location Map: 


Red Flags: 
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain

Observation made by: Avalanche Specialist
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Spent the day skiing and sledding from 9,000 to 9,500 ft. in sheltered terrain.  The snowpack at this elevation ranges from 70-90 cm and showed no signs of instability in the areas traveled.  Snow levels hovered at or just above 7,000 ft. throughout the day and snowfall rates began to increase significantly around 2pm prior to our exit.  

We received 3-5in of new snow in the BWRA Friday into Saturday that bonded well to preexisting snow surfaces and produced only minimal avalanche activity.  This snow was being relocated to lee aspects throughout the day today as winds increased ahead of the incoming storm.  The snow surface was slightly damp on all aspects at and below 9,500 ft. and I would expect our incoming right-side-up storm to bond well at this interface.   

I'm anticipating less predictable conditions above treeline where new snow and wind slab will accumulate on a variety of preexisting snow surfaces.  

Photos:

1. New wet snow accumulating on windward side of trees

2. Wind transport

3. Small wind slab/cornice 

 

 

Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Yes
Cloud Cover: 
75% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Above Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Moderate
Precipitation: 
Snow
Air temperature trend: 
Cooling
Wind Direction: 
Southwest
Accumulation rate: 
Less than 1 in. per hour