Temperatures this morning are in the upper teens to low 20s F. Overnight, southwesterly winds increased drastically and will continue to increase into the morning. At mid-elevation bands, they are blowing 20-30 mph gusting 45 mph. At the upper elevation ridgelines, they are gusting near 80 mph.
Today temperatures will generally rise to the upper 20s F, but lower elevation locations should have temperatures in the mid-30s F. Clouds will continue increasing into the morning, bringing light snowfall and high winds. Snowfall rates should remain less than one inch an hour today, with peak snowfall rates between the late morning and early afternoon. We can expect 3-6" of new snow by dinner. Winds will continue to increase throughout the morning and transition more westerly. Winds will blow 20-30 mph, with gusts up to 35 mph at mid-elevations. At upper elevations, gusts may reach up to 70 mph.
While we get a bit of snow today, it will taper off this evening and the heavier snowfall arrives Wednesday morning to Thursday morning. This storm looks like it will have strong winds, increasing temperatures, and increasing snow densities.
Warm temps and a few days of intermittent sunshine have warmed the snow on south-facing slopes and most will have a slight crust this morning. Coverage is fantastic, and settled snow depths, even at lower elevations are 3-4 feet. Upper elevation areas and the upper cottonwoods have snow depths up to 6-7 feet.
Yesterday, there were no new avalanches reported in the backcountry, but reports from avalanches triggered this past weekend continue to roll in. Ski resorts and DOT continue to get results with explosives in upper elevation NW-N-E facing terrain.
View all the recent avalanche activity HERE
Yesterday, we went out and looked at the remotely triggered avalanche on the Firewater Run of Little Water Peak. This avalanche failed deeply on a layer of facets above a crust, and then stepped down to the ground in many places. Below shows the crown depth at one of it's deepest points, close to 12', while the average depth was closer to 4'. Find the full observation here.