Observation: American Fork

Observation Date
01/20/2017
Observer Name
Mark Staples

Region:

Location Name or Route
American Fork
Weather
Weather Comments
On an off snowfall, but falling at a rate of 2 in/hour when it was snowing. No wind noticed until we got to 9800 feet. About 6 inches of new snow from yesterday and today.
Snow Characteristics
Snow Characteristics Comments

The new snow was very low density. Some of the stellars were 6mm in size. Some of these fell yesterday.

Avalanche Problem #1
Type
Loose Dry Snow
Trend
Increasing Danger
Problem #1 Comments

With any wind the new snow was sluffing and running far. It was breaking within itself not on facets or surface hoar.

Avalanche Problem #2
Type
Wind Slab
Problem #2 Comments

It looks like winds have picked up this evening and it's snowing. I expect wind slabs to be sensitive tomorrow. They can break on the low density new snow or the facets an inch or two deeper.

Comments

We tried to find buried and preserved surface hoar but could only find it in the canyon bottom. I was able to find it at 7900 feet in Silver Fork but had to work really hard and could only find a few flakes. It was easy to see in the canyon bottom. No layers deeper in the snowpack concerned me. There are obvious stripes of graupel from previous storms but they do not seem to be a problem.

The weakest snow for the next 24 hours is the new snow. Near surface facets underneath is the second weakest layer that will need more of a load to become active.

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