Forecaster Observation - Canyon Creek, Whitefish Range

Location Name: 
Forecaster Observation - Canyon Creek, Whitefish Range
Whitefish Range - Southern (south of Coal Creek)
Date and time of observation: 
Tue, 03/15/2016 - 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: 

The objectives for our tour included: searching for buried surface hoar, determining if a storm slab had developed within the new snow, wind slab development and dry loose avalanche concerns.

We found decomposing buried surface hoar 87 cm below the snow surface. This layer was not reactive in our stability tests.

The new snow was mostly cohesionless and had not developed into a storm slab.

There was plenty of evidence of recent and current wind loading but we did not encounter any wind slab in our relatively sheltered location..

There was up to 41 cm of recent low density (8%?) snow that had been deposited onto a rain crust which was formed Saturday. On steep terrain this surface snow would sluff easily and run long distances. Approximately 20 cm below the surface was an impressive layer of graupel that was adding to the instability problem within the surface snow layer.

After brief periods of solar input, rollerballs/pinwheels would form in the surface snow on sunny aspects. 

Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Cloud Cover: 
75% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Light (Twigs in motion)
Air temperature trend: 
Accumulation rate: 
Less than 1 in. per hour
Precip Rate: 
S -1; very light snowfall, trace to 0.5cm/hour