Forecaster Observation - Canyon Creek, southern Whitefish Range

Location Name: 
Forecaster Observation - Canyon Creek, southern Whitefish Range
Whitefish Range - Southern (south of Coal Creek)
Date and time of observation: 
Sat, 03/19/2016 - 12:00
Location Map: 

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

Objectives for this tour:

Look for buried surface hoar and assess how it reacts in stability tests.

Determine how the sunny weather of Friday and Saturday is affecting the snow surface moisture content and stability.

We toured east of the WMR ski area primarily staying on shaded aspects. In some areas we found well preserved buried surface hoar and in other areas it was decomposing. Depth of this layer varied from 57 to 84 cm (23 to 34 inches) below the snow surface. We were surprised when stability tests resulted in no propagation on the well preserved surface hoar layer. We did have one quality 1 shear with hard force during a compression test (CT29). No propagation was observed in any of our tests today.

On shaded aspects there was up to 14 inches of low density snow on top of a supportable crust.  A well preserved layer of large grain graupel is located in approximately the middle of this new snow layer. No surface sluffing was observed today.

Sunny aspects showed obvious signs of sun affected surface snow with the top 8 cm being moist. Numerous wet loose avalanches, along with rollerballs and pinwheels, were observed on steep terrain. These occurred during Friday's sunny but cool weather.   



Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Cloud Cover: 
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Air temperature trend: