storm snow and winds

Location Name: 
storm snow and winds
Region: 
Long Canyon Area
Date and time of observation: 
Fri, 03/13/2020 - 13:02


Red Flags: 
Recent avalanche activity
Whumphing noises, shooting cracks, or collapsing
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain

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

It was a wet day with snow levels around 9000' during the day.  This storm felt very much like a humid wet PNW storm.  Not much snow accumulation below 11,000' with only a couple of inches.  9500' and below we had wet unsupportable snow to the ground. Below 8500' we had rain on snow event with wet snow avalanches on steep north facing terrain.  From 9500' to 11,500' we had a supportable melt-freeze crust with just a couple of inches of snow on top.  Very much a dust on crust situation.  Above 11,500' at mid-day we were finding 6 inches of snow with moderate to strong SW winds that was easily transporting snow. Winds approached 80 mph at the higher elevations.  Visibility was not great and we baled on the ridgeline with the threat of lightning.  

We did have reports of storm slab avalanches near and above treeline on the leeward sides ridgelines.  These avalanches by mid-day were up to 1 foot deep and propagating 50 to 100' wide.  

Photo 1: Wet snow throughout the snowpack on a N aspect below 9500'

Photo 2: Small wet snow avalanche on a N aspect around 8500' where we had a rain on snow during the day.

Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Yes
Cloud Cover: 
100% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Strong
Precipitation: 
Snow
Air temperature trend: 
Static
Wind Direction: 
Southwest
Accumulation rate: 
Less than 1 in. per hour
More detailed information about the weather: 

SW winds were gusting close to 80 MPH with sustained winds in the 20 and 30 mph range.