Observation: Snowbird periphery

Observation Date
04/10/2017
Observer Name
B

Region:

Location Name or Route
Snowbird Periphery
Weather
Sky
Clear
Wind Direction
Southwest
Wind Speed
Light
Weather Comments
Light to Calm winds predominently out of the SW. Temperatures did not appear to escalte as much as expected due to the sustained breeze and low 30 readings at 9500 feet.
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions
Wind Crust
Melt-Freeze Crust
Damp
Snow Characteristics Comments

Early morning unseasonably cool temperatures helped slow down the eventual warming of the snow surfaces. And even as late as 1230 low angle E and SE riding was still fun even though the top 3 cm were getting damp. By 1430 NE aspects were already starting to show signs of crusting over; and by the end of the day it appeared that only due north slopes at upper elevations with angles 30 degrees and greater were still housing cold dry snow. Minimal wind scouring damage was noted near many ridgelines on N and NW aspects. 

Red Flags
Red Flags
Recent Avalanches
Rapid Warming
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
Poor Snowpack Structure was continuing to be identified just above the old snow/new snow interface with the grauple that fell initially in the storm still showing signs of weak layer reactivity. Of note, the old crusts were slick and difficult on moderate angled up hill skin tracks. Also of note was the very moist snow that was at least 10 cm down below the old snow/new snow interface. See avalanche report from Mineral Basin for Wet Slab activity. Wet Loose activity was minimal at up to 1500 hours in terrain 9000 feet and above. In the mid elevations there was widespread Wet Loose activity observed on southerly facing steep slopes.
Avalanche Problem #1
Type
Wet Slab
Trend
Increasing Danger
Problem #1 Comments

See avalanche report.

And with another 10 degree jump in daytime highs forecast for Tuesday with partly cloudy skies this problem may actually become more widespread on southerly aspects at elevations 9500 feet and greater.

The same holds true for the potential for Wet Loose activity at these upper elevations. 

Avalanche Problem #2
Type
Cornice
Trend
Increasing Danger
Problem #2 Comments

Large Cornices continue to need to be avoided, and with the next few days of elevated daytime highs, along with the latest new addition of water weight we may be seeing another small cycle of natural calving and releasing. 

Due to the Natural Wet Slab observed on Monday, it appears that a Considerable Danger rating for the day during daytime heating was applicable. With daytime highs elevating over the next three days and hitting close to 60 on Thursday at 9000 feet it appears that Considerable may be appropriate for afternoon mountain forecasts. 

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