rapid wind loading

Location Name: 
Virginia Lakes
Region: 
Other Area
Date and time of observation: 
Thu, 12/30/2021 - 12:55
Location Map: 



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

Today we toured into the Virginia Lakes area to take a look around at the recently developed wind slabs. The windblown snow could be seen from Bridgeport and the HWY 395 corridor.  With all the recent snowfall in the last few days, it was impressive to see it being blown all over the range.  County plow road cuts were forming cornices within hours.  Large cornice growth in the alpine will be a problem to avoid as favorable travel conditions are forecasted for the next several days.  Cornices often break further back than expected and can impact avalanche start zones with a dynamite-like force. Snowpit holes did not need to be filled back in by hand today, the wind-driven snow filled up the voids within minutes. Wind slabs easily failed on small test slopes. 

Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Yes
Cloud Cover: 
25% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Moderate
Precipitation: 
None
Air temperature trend: 
Static
Wind Direction: 
West