Forecaster Observation - Marion Lake, Flathead Range

Location Name: 
Forecaster Observation - Marion Lake, Flathead Range
Flathead Range - Middle Fork Corridor
Date and time of observation: 
Mon, 03/14/2016 - 13:00
Location Map: 

Red Flags: 
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain

Observation made by: Forecaster
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Today's objectives included searching for buried surface hoar, wind slab development/distribution and determining if a storm slab had formed overnight.

We were unable to locate buried surface hoar in either of our 2 north facing snow pits and our 1 south facing pit.

Recent southwest winds had formed drift features in the trees and cornices along ridgelines.  Today, the wind direction was from a north-northwesterly direction which was scouring previously formed wind drifts and cornices.  Wind transport occured throughout our tour but fresh wind slab development had yet to form in our location.

Above 6200 feet 4-6 inches of relatively low density snow from the past 2 days was deposited on top of a rain crust. The new snow was not adhering to this crust and would sluff readily during our ski descent. In this location, the new snow lacked cohesive qualities and therefore had not yet formed a slab. .

Visibility was poor for most of our tour and therefore we were unable to determine if there had been recent avalanche activity in the area.. 

Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Cloud Cover: 
100% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Moderate (Small trees sway)
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: 
Accumulation rate: 
Less than 1 in. per hour
More detailed information about the weather: 

Snow squalls occurred periodically throughout the day depositing a mix of graupel and snowflakes.

Precip Rate: 
S1; light snowfall, 1cm/hour