Observation: Brighton Perimeter

Observation Date
02/3/2018
Observer Name
B

Region:

Location Name or Route
Brighton Perimeter
Weather
Sky
Overcast
Wind Direction
Northwest
Weather Comments
Skiff of snow overnight, with the winds sustained out of the WNW in the moderate range at mid elevations and strong in the upper elevations. Temperatures once again rose significantly into the low 40's at 9000 feet. A brief period of sun shine allowed the southerly facing terrain to get damp in the early afternoon hours.
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions
Dense Loose
Wind Crust
Melt-Freeze Crust
Rain-Rime Crust
Damp
Snow Characteristics Comments

Snow surface conditions above 9500 feet continue to take a beating with the strong winds and warm temperatures. Most reports state extremely variable riding with one good turn intermixed with several others of lessor qualities. Despite the above average temperatures, the snow surfaces on the upper half of the compass remained cold and dry once again. Sheltered terrain, mostly on northerly facing treed terrain has the only creamy thick/dense riding left. 

Red Flags
Red Flags
Wind Loading
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
There isn't much snow available for transport, but light wind blown and or transport was observed in isolated areas. Poor snowpack structure was observed in a variety of locations around the Brighton perimeter. HS was consistently measured in the 130cm range. Basal facets consitently yeilded moderate scores, with SC and Q1 shear characteristics. Despite these weak layers being identified in CT tests, ECT scores did not idicate a propensity for propagation.
Avalanche Problem #1
Type
Persistent Slab
Trend
Same
Problem #1 Comments

Field observations and snowpits found rounding and sintering going on in the basal facets in areas with HS 130 and greater. Along with this, the basal facets appeared to be becoming moist in all locations except pits above 10200 feet.

 

Avalanche Problem #2
Type
Wind Slab
Trend
Same
Problem #2 Comments

See above with regard to the strong winds and light transport, and as a result small pockets of isolated wind slabs may be found in the upper elevations predominantly on easterly facing aspects. 

Of note, overnight lows at 8000 feet and below appear to have not allowed for a refreeze for at least three days now as of Sunday morning the fourth. With the forecast for more of the same, and a chance of light rain below 7500 feet, Wet Slab potential appears possible. At this point, observations have been noting a saturated snowpack at these lower elevations. Travel in the lower elevations on or below steep terrain is not recommended. 

Today's Observed Danger Rating
Moderate
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating
Moderate
Snow Profile Coordinates