Early Season Conditions Continue

Location Name: 
Gavilan Canyon
Long Canyon Area
Date and time of observation: 
Sat, 12/09/2017 - 10:00
Location Map: 
United States
36° 37' 22.368" N, 105° 28' 31.224" W

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

Snow coverage continues to be patchy near treeline and above, and exposure to sun is a major deciding factor between slopes that hold snow and those that don't.  Currently there is no snow on south facing aspects at all elevations.  In places where there is snow, the layer closest to the ground has deveoped into straited 3mm depth hoar.   Small grain facets makeup the rest of the snowpack, and the interface between the fully developed depth hoar and these near surface facets is not well defined in most places.  This is an exceedingly weak snowpack structure, and if we do ever get snow, this uncohesive faceted snow will serve as the layer of most concern. 

Wind is also a big player in snow coverage, as some upper slopes and ridgelines have been stripped of snow.  Other slopes have been windloaded, and in these places weakening windslab sits atop faceted layers.  In the days between now and our next storm, the existing snow will continue to change and we will keep monitioring it.  

Photo 1- Snow coverage is highly dependent on sun exposure

Photo 2- Striated ~3mm depth hoar

Photo 3- Wind affects snow distribution along ridgelines 

Photo 4- Windslab exists in isolated areas

Photo 5: 2-3mm Faceted crystals that look beautiful but will more than likely be our first weak layer of concern!

Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Cloud Cover: 
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: 
Accumulation rate: