View Full Version : This cold and snow conditions

December 13th, 2009, 11:27 PM
What is this cold weather going to do for the snowpack? Good news or Bad?

December 14th, 2009, 12:03 AM
will be checking later this week.

December 14th, 2009, 12:11 AM
Thanks Barry. with the cold I am wondering about Hore frost layer

December 14th, 2009, 08:30 AM
I'm thinking the recent snow is going to have a lot of facet like crystals with this cold arctic air, and if enough has fallen it will set up to create a weak layer in the snow pack. Later this week they are also calling for mild weather with plus temperatures which will round future snow but again, the faceting of the previous snow will give us a weak layer underneath.

I'd be real careful on the slopes above the tree lines given the recent changes. The winds haven't been kind either so I would bet there will be a lot of avalanche activity in the coming weeks. Keep your eyes open and check the avalanche sites (http://www.avalanche.ca/) if you're going to play in the hills.

December 14th, 2009, 09:35 AM
Not only the faceting of surface snow and hoar frost, it also causes the already existing layer of snow underneith to facet.

This cold weather is bad.

In shallow snowpacks it can mean very weak snow (around trees, rocks, etc), and in the deeper areas it will still cause faceting, but the new snow we'll see coming next week as explained by Gas Can means we'll have a weak layer because the faceted snow will be isolated and insulated from the warmer temps.

December 14th, 2009, 09:58 AM
Did some poking around up forester cr this weekend. The upper snowpack has faceted quite substantially (top 20~30 cm). The lower snowpack was pretty bomber. BUT there has been some big wind events lately and anywhere it has been scoured from has left the snowpack very shallow and has faceted right to the ground. That will make assessing the hazard tricky at best. The forecast is for a substantial dump tues and this will make avy hazard spike and probably stay kind of high for awhile. If we get some warmer temps and more snow it should facilitate the improvement in stability. The hazard will remain considerable for awhile at a min. Give it some time to bond before exposing yourself. Dec cold snaps are never good for a strong snowpack.

December 15th, 2009, 08:50 PM
Thanks for the info, keep it coming. Always good to hear 'hands-on' reports. :cool: