Weak Faceted Snow still exists

Location Name: 
Weak Faceted Snow Still Exists
Region: 
Williams Lake Area
Date and time of observation: 
Mon, 01/13/2020 - 13:00



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

Weather models were calling for up to 4" of day time snow. We observed no new snow accumulation. Strong, swirling winds were primarily out of the west and southwest. Accompanying gusts into the upper 50's were consistent throughout the entirety of our tour. Winds below treeline helped distribute the snow across slopes. These winds also helped with skiing, as the surface was mostly low density soft snow. We did observe very localized wind slab pockets at higher elevations on specific north and east aspects. Primarily on leeward slopes and cross loaded gullies. Some slopes were scoured and stripped, other slopes had hard slabs. In places it is a breakable surface crust. In others areas, particularly in open terrain at higher elevations; it is a heavy, hard slab.

We continue to find weak faceted snow. Our mid pack persistent weak layers were still very present. Multiple layers of faceted graupel are very pronounced. In long column tests we found these faceted graupel layers were failing within the first 50% of the column, with full propagation.

Photo 1: Pronounced faceted graupel layers underlay denser slabs.

Photo 2: Localized pockets of wind slabs on North and East slopes above treeline. 

Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Yes
Cloud Cover: 
75% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Strong
Precipitation: 
None
Air temperature trend: 
Warming
Wind Direction: 
West
Accumulation rate: 
None
More detailed information about the weather: 

A cold day was accompanied by strong winds at all elevations. Clouds quickly dashed across the sky, with increased visibility later in the day. Snow was transporting at all elevations. No new snow accumulation.