New Snow and Warming

Location Name: 
New Snow and Warming
Region: 
Long Canyon Area
Date and time of observation: 
Mon, 03/09/2020 - 13:26


Red Flags: 
Whumphing noises, shooting cracks, or collapsing
Rapid warming

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

We picked up 3 to 5 inches of snow above 11,500' with less snow below that.  It appeared that it rained below 8500' with no snow accumulation.  This time of year after a fresh coat of white snow, when the sun does make its appearance it warms up really quickly.  There was a big difference between shady slopes with no sun and slopes that got impacted by the sun.  Multiple stops today to re-apply glob-stopper to the skins.  

With the new snow warming quickly, we did observe roller balls and small loose wet avalanches in steeper sun impacted terrain.  Graupel started the storm and we did find graupel that had pooled mid slope and below cliffs underneath the new snow.  The new snow fell on crusts and and hard wind surface wind slabs.  In our travels we were getting loud audible whumfs and collapsing on a near surface facet layer below the melt-freeze crust from the previous high pressure.  We were not finding cohesive slabs with the new snow except for just below ridgetops on the leeward side of slopes.  

North aspects lack a strong crust, but have a faceting decomposing snowpack with multiple weak layers.  What we lack is a cohesive slab.  In snowpits, it looks a lot like December or January than a deep strong snowpack on this aspect.  

Below Treeline, we have a shallow snowpack that is going isothermic on most slopes, where you collapse to ground.  North and shady slopes have the most amount of snow and have faceted crusts within the snowpack.

Photo 1: Roller balls in the new snow on an Easterly aspect 

Photo 2: Graupel from early in the storm

Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
No
Cloud Cover: 
25% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Calm
Air temperature trend: 
Warming
Wind Direction: 
West
More detailed information about the weather: 

Clouds cleared early this morning, bringing a beautiful sunny day.  Temperatures at 9200' climbed to the low 40's and just hit above freezing at 11,500'.  Winds were calm.