Observation: Moab

Observation Date
02/19/2017
Observer Name
Dave Garcia

Region:

Location Name or Route
Corkscrew
Weather
Sky
Overcast
Precipitation
Moderate Snowfall
Wind Direction
South
Wind Speed
Moderate
Weather Comments
Light snowfall at the Trans La Sal TH around 9:30 AM. Quickly changed to moderate snowfall that lasted all morning, snow tapered off around 1:00. Another round of moderate snow started again around 2:45. We were mostly out of the wind zone today, moderate southerly winds on the top of Corkscrew.
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Depth
12"
New Snow Density
Medium
Snow Surface Conditions
Powder
Snow Characteristics Comments
Measured a legit 12 inches of snow in upper Corkscrew. 2 inches of new snow at the Trans La Sal TH. The new snow was medium density and made for great skiing!
Red Flags
Red Flags
Heavy Snowfall
Red Flags Comments
Heavy Snowfall was the only real red flag we observed today. Like I said we were mostly out of the wind zone today, part of the reason we chose corkscrew.
Avalanche Problem #1
Type
Wind Slab
Trend
Same
Problem #1 Comments
I had been watching the Pre Laurel weather station yesterday, and after checking it again today, I'm sure wind loading is a concern up above tree line. We did not encounter any wind loading in corkscrew today. This terrain is low and mid elevation. Winds were out of the SE overnight and this morning, and I expected to see fresh wind drifts in upper corkscrew. We even skied the open shot on the far skiers left that faces WNW and to our surprise it was not wind loaded.
Avalanche Problem #2
Type
Storm Slab
Trend
Decreasing Danger
Problem #2 Comments
The new snow is medium density, and up to a foot deep in some places. On the more northerly aspects the new snow was well bonded to the old snow surface. I conducted some quick hand shears on SW faces on the way out to corkscrew and got relatively easy shears between the new and old snow interface. There is a firm base layer on this aspect. I wouldn't be surprised to see sluffs running in steeper terrain on this aspect. On northerly aspects the old snow is soft and well bonded to the new snow. I skied across some steep North facing test slopes with no results. I think any potential storm slabs problems could linger for one more day before stabilizing. Today I did not find any of the recrystallized old snow beneath the new snow surface. Based on my travels before this storm, I still think in the upper elevations you could find weaker, recrystallized old snow underneath the new snow on North and East aspects.
Today's Observed Danger Rating
Moderate
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating
Moderate
Snow Profile Coordinates