Observation: Millcreek

Observation Date
03/1/2018
Observer Name
Ted Scroggin

Region:

Location Name or Route
Mill Creek
Weather
Sky
Broken
Precipitation
Light Snowfall
Wind Direction
Southwest
Wind Speed
Moderate
Weather Comments
The first half of the morning was partly cloudy with clouds and light snow developing in the afternoon. Southwest winds were steady and quite gusty on the ridge lines.
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions
Dense Loose
Wind Crust
Snow Characteristics Comments
Areas of dense settled snow can be found in very sheltered places, but generally the winds have been all over the place creating some rough riding and turning conditions.
Red Flags
Red Flags
Wind Loading
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
Dug around in some of the more shallow places in Mill Creek and it is quite variable. I found places over 3' in depth and as little as 20" with nothing but facets. These shallow zones are lacking a cohesive slab on top, but this weekend's forecasted heavy wet snow should increase the avalanche hazard. Not a lot of snow to blow around, but the moderately gusty southwest winds were finding what snow there is and drifting onto the lee ward side of north facing slopes.
Avalanche Problem #1
Type
Wind Slab
Trend
Increasing Danger
Problem #1 Comments
A fresh round of wind slabs should develop out ahead of the next storm for this weekend.
Avalanche Problem #2
Type
Persistent Slab
Trend
Increasing Danger
Problem #2 Comments
Strong winds and heavy wet snow this weekend will add weight to the snow pack over loading the buried weak sugary snow and likely create dangerous avalanche conditions.
Snow Profile
Comments
The snow surface was a mix of dense loose and rough textured snow in Mill Creek today.
One of the more shallow areas in Mill Creek and not representative of all places in the area. In this location, it was nothing but loose weak sugary faceted snow. The approaching storm should add a cohesive slab on top of this weak structure and create dangerous avalanche conditions.
Today's Observed Danger Rating
Moderate
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating
Moderate
Snow Profile Coordinates