Snowpits from two different aspects in Voodoo Bowl

Location Name: 
Voodoo Bowl
Date and time of observation: 
Sat, 03/18/2017 - 15:00
Location Map: 

Red Flags: 
Obvious avalanche path

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

Today I rode up into Voodoo Bowl to see how the past 10 days of warm weather has affected the snowpack there.  I dug pits on two different aspects, NE and E facing slopes.  The pit on the east facing slope was isothermal (same temp throughout) as far down as I dug (140 cm) and contained a mixture of wet snow and melt-freeze crusts.  Stability tests showed some weakness in a layer 20 cm from the surface where melt water was pooling, but showed not propensity for propagation.  The pit on the northeast facing slope was drastically different, with only the top 3-5 cm of the snowpack wet and dry snow below that.  It is interesting to see the two different snowpacks on slopes with only a 45 degree aspect difference.  This shows how important aspect is right now, with slopes that are receiving strong direct solar insolation trending towards an isothermal springtime snowpack while slopes with a bit more shading still holding onto a wintertime snowpack.

Photo Captions:

1:  Snow profile from the NE facing slope

2:  Snow profile from the E facing slope

3:  Pit photo of the snowpit from the E facing slope

4:  The weather turned quickly today, from warm and partly cloudy to overcast and light snow/graupel in the afternoon

Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Snowpack photos: 
Any other comments about the observation or links to outside pages that have more info on the observation: 

The lower part of Hwy 108 is melting out quickly and new sections of exposed roadway are seen more and more each day.  As a reminder, the Marines are conducting live fire and explosives training up at the Leavitt Lake area until Monday the 20th around 11-2 pm each day.  Expect temporary closures in that area during those times.

Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Cloud Cover: 
75% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Above Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Mixed rain and snow
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: 
Accumulation rate: 
Less than 1 in. per hour
More detailed information about the weather: 

Winds were strong today, especially at ridgetops.  I measured sustained winds at 45 mph gusting to 62 mph on an exposed ridgeline late in the morning, strong enough to nearly blow someone over.  Wind speeds decreased off the ridgeline but were still gusty.  At 2 pm, skies were still partly to mostly cloudy though thicker cloud cover was moving in quickly.  Temperature at 9400' was 41 F.  At 3 pm clouds lowered and temps dropped to 36 F, light snow/graupel started as well.  Snow changed to rain below 8000' with light rain observed at the trailhead around 4 pm.