Observation: Cutler Ridge

Observation Date
01/20/2017
Observer Name
Mike H

Region:

Location Name or Route
Cutler Ridge
Weather
Sky
Overcast
Precipitation
Moderate Snowfall
Wind Direction
Southwest
Wind Speed
Calm
Weather Comments
Around 8,000 feet near the Ben Lomond Peak weather station snow was coming down fast. Big beautiful stellars. Low winds so far, but lots of AST and if the winds pick up we could see those wind slabs form rapidly.
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Depth
2"
New Snow Density
Low
Snow Surface Conditions
Powder
Dense Loose
Faceted Loose
Snow Characteristics Comments

Really good skiing/riding conditions exist.  I wish I didn't have to get into the office today. Fast soft snow with a supportable base further down.  Lots of persistent grains in the snow pack, and the newly buried surface hoar and near surface facets are currently un reactive to the new load, but as this weather pattern continues, I would expect to see these persistent weak layers (PWL) announce themselves. 

Red Flags
Red Flags
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
Multiple PWLs exist in the upper snowpack.
Avalanche Problem #1
Type
Persistent Slab
Trend
Increasing Danger
Problem #1 Comments

With the new snow load buried surface hoar and near surface facets will come back into play.   Lots of persistent grains in the snow pack, and the newly buried surface hoar and near surface facets are currently un reactive to the new load, but as this weather pattern continues, I would expect to see these persistent weak layers (PWL) announce themselves. 

Avalanche Problem #2
Type
Wind Slab
Trend
Increasing Danger
Problem #2 Comments

Limited wind in our location today, but there is a lot of AST and if the winds increase we will see this problem be very apparent and noticeable .

Snow Profile
Aspect
North
Elevation
8100
Slope Angle
29
Video

Photo 1- moderate snowfall happening above 8,000ft

Photo 2 - loose snow problems exist currently, but with any wind this is a large amount of AST.

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