Storm snow, Huntington Ravine

By Ryan Matz | MWAC

Date of Observation: April 8, 2019  2:30 PM
Location of Observation: Huntington Ravine

3” or so of slightly wind affected new snow mixed with sleet and graupel. S summit winds under 40 mph today seem to have resulted in a soft, thin, and barely cohesive layer of new snow. As pictured, this new layers is behaving like a slab in places.
This new snow sits on moist old snow that has not yet refrozen after yesterday’s melt.
With increasing wind tonight, more mixed precipitation, and snow on light winds tomorrow, we’ll likely have some unique surface slabs to manage tomorrow.


ABOUT THESE OBSERVATIONS

Snowpack observations are one part of the complex puzzle which is your decision to enter avalanche terrain. Some observations may include stability tests. It’s important to understand that the results of a stability tests are seldom conclusive anywhere, but particularly in snow climates and terrain like ours where the primary driver of instabilities is wind drifted snow. Many stability tests exist and each works best with specific avalanche problem types. Stability test results should never be used alone as an indication that a slope or conditions are safe particularly when more obvious red flags are present. Please use this page as part of your information gathering process, but don’t make decisions based on a single piece of information. A good article that summarizes some of the issues associated with snow and avalanche observations can be found here.

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