Observation: Big Springs

Observation Date
01/2/2018
Observer Name
Tyler Falk

Region:

Location Name or Route
Big Springs
Weather
Sky
Clear
Wind Speed
Calm
Weather Comments
Clear and calm day in the mountains. Low around 20 and high temps in the upper 30's at Big Springs Park in the afternoon. (5700')
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions
Faceted Loose
Wind Crust
Melt-Freeze Crust
Damp
Snow Characteristics Comments

Maybe only 12cm at the trailhead which turned into 70cm at 8k on NE aspects. Sun crust on most aspects below 8k. Overall a little shallower snowpack than the central wasatch. 

Red Flags
Red Flags
Cracking
Collapsing
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
Overall poor snowpack structure were there is old snow. Cracking and collapsing noticed on small represintive test slopes where the angle got around 37 degrees.
Comments

Went to check out the north and south fork of the Provo river today.  Noticed a few small pockets that pulled out in Primrose Cirque likely due to old snow.(Pic.1) A few more noticed in the South Fork specifically looking up at Cascade. Mabey R2 D2 in size. (Pic. 3)  Another one up in Big Springs. (Pic 4) Sun crust in lower big springs. (Pic. 5)  Weaking snow surface in picture six. Results from a small 37 degree test slope in picture seven at 8k. Last picture is of 3mm depth hoar at 8k.  I did not do any tests but would expect to get propagation in ECT's in many locations with old snow above 8k. 

Well December is over and it got me thinking of our December temperature gradient numbers. The few I crunched ended up not being as bad as expected due to our warm temperatures, despite our very shallow snowpack. Alta was 9.2 degrees above average for December temperature. (Average is 18F) Still there are many persistent weak layers in our snowpack and it has the feel in many locations of a more continental​ location. This is far diffrent from our coastal set up last year. Both years were relatively warm this year we are just lacking the snow. 

Alta Guard:                   Avg. Temp       Avg. Snow Depth         December Temp Gradient 

2016:                             19.8 F/ -6.7             49.8"/ 1.26 M               5.3

2017:                              27.2 F /-2.6             13.5"/ .34 M                7.6

Silver Lk Brighton:     

2016:                              22.1 F/ -5.5             28.8"/ .73 M                7.5

2017:                              27.8 F/ -2.3             12.7"/ .32 M                7.18

Lighting Ridge 

2016:                             16.6 F/ -8.5               29.1"/.7 M                   12.1

2017:                              23.4 F/-4.7               16"/ .4 M                     11.75

Trial Lake 

2016:                             16.2 F/-8.7                 38.7"/ .98 M               8.8

2017:                             24.8 F/-4                    26.2"/ .66 M               6.0

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