11th Annual Utah Snow & Avalanche Workshop Open and Motorized Sessions Oct. 27th.
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Observation Date: 
1/20/2018
Observer Name: 
Reed Kennard
Location Name or Route: 
Horse Creek
Weather
Sky: 
Obscured
Precipitation: 
Light Snowfall
Wind Direction: 
South
Wind Speed: 
Strong
Weather Comments: 
I spent the day at the Gold Basin yurt with some friends waiting for the storm to roll in. Their were strong winds out of the south all day with light snow fall and temperatures in the upper 20's. less than half an inch had fallen by 4:00 in the afternoon when I left the yurt. By the time I got to the Geyser pass parking lot it was snowing at least an inch an hour with continued strong winds.
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Depth: 
1"
New Snow Density: 
Medium
Snow Surface Conditions: 
Powder
Snow Characteristics Comments: 

The current storm took its sweet time getting to the La Sals today, with less than an inch of snow falling all day.  By 4:30  in the afternoon the storm had finally arrived and it was snowing at least an inch an hour in the Geyser pass parking lot.  The minimal daytime snow was falling in the form of small rounds and ice needles.  When the heavy snow fall began it started as small rounds, but turned to larger stellar flakes within 20 minutes.  

Red Flags
Red Flags: 
Heavy Snowfall
Wind Loading
Cracking
Poor Snowpack Structure
Avalanche Problem #1
Type: 
Persistent Weak Layer
Trend: 
Increasing Danger
Problem #1 Comments: 

We have a classic shallow, weak snow pack in the La Sals right now.  This snow pack will have a hard time supporting the weight of the predicted snow fall amounts. 

Avalanche Problem #2
Type: 
Wind Drifted Snow
Trend: 
Increasing Danger
Problem #2 Comments: 

Heavy winds and moderate snow fall are predicted for the remainder of the evening as well as tomorrow.  This weather combination will create windslabs on the lee side of terrain features and ridges.  These slabs will be forming on top of a shallow faceted snow pack.  

This is an example of what the new snow is falling on.  I took this picture Friday evening.  

Low visibility and blowing snow in the Geyser Parking lot Saturday evening

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