Observation: Spring City Canyon

Observation Date
02/25/2016
Observer Name
John Mletschnig

Region:

Location Name or Route
South Fork Oak Creek Canyon
Weather
Sky
Clear
Wind Speed
Calm
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions
Powder
Melt-Freeze Crust
Damp
Snow Characteristics Comments
Storm total from monday settled to around 4'' in sheltered areas at 9500' as of this morning.
Red Flags
Red Flags
Cracking
Rapid Warming
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
Lots of weak faceted snow on high elevation W-N-E where snowpack depth is less than 150cm.
Avalanche Problem #1
Type
Persistent Slab
Trend
Same
Problem #1 Comments
This Monday's storm snow sits on top of storm snow and wind slab from last Thursday's strong frontal passage. These snow layers sit on top of near surface facets on W-N-E facing slopes at mid and high elevations. Extended Column Tests showed propagation with medium friction on this NSF layer where wind had consolidated a slab above. In shallow snowpack areas the rest of the full depth of the snowpack is very sugary faceted snow which a slab failure in the upper snowpack could easily gouge down through to the ground likely entraining a great deal of snow. Other snow layer interfaces with weak, faceted snow are also possible in locations more prone to wind deposition and slab formation.
Avalanche Problem #2
Type
Loose Wet Snow
Problem #2 Comments
Warm temperatures, clear skies and pounding sun are affecting a wider and wider swath of cold winter snow each day. Daytime heating of the solar half of the compass, at all elevations may produce natural wet activity.
Snow Profile
Aspect
Northwest
Elevation
10100
Slope Angle
27
Video
Today's Observed Danger Rating
Moderate
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating
Moderate
Snow Profile Coordinates