Kachina Basin

Location Name: 
Kachina Basin
Williams Lake Area
Date and time of observation: 
Thu, 01/09/2020 - 13:27

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

We went out with a recent graduate of a snow science program in Montana to work on a study.  We continue to find weak faceted layers in the mid-pack as well as closer near the ground.  Recent strong winds have turned areas near and above treeline into hard firm slabs or breakable wind crusts.  In many places these hard slabs on the surface sit on top of low density snow. 

Our snowpack overall is faceting as we are observing deteriorating slabs from previous wind events in our snowpack.  Below treeline, our shallow snowpack is quick turning to cohesionless facets.

Photo 1: Very distinct faceted layer that was the graupel layer from early December storms.  Cohesive slabs rest on top of these layers that we continue to get fail and propagate.  We also have weak layers higher up near the surface around crusts

Photo 2: Extended Column test on these weak faceted layers with full propagation

Photo 3: Shallow snowpack below treeline on a N aspect that is faceting and turning into cohesionless snow.

Photo 4: Mid-pack faceted layer that was once graupel from storms earlier in December

Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Cloud Cover: 
75% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: 
More detailed information about the weather: 

Clouds rolled in during the afternoon with light flurries.  Snow accumulation was not amounting to anything.