Forecaster Observation -Noisy Knob, Swan Range

Location Name: 
Forecaster Observation -Noisy Knob, Swan Range
Swan Range - West Side (Flathead Valley access)
Date and time of observation: 
Tue, 12/20/2016 - 12:00
Location Map: 

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

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

Traveled up to Noisy Notch and Crown Basin in the Swan Range today to find out how the storm snow was interacting with the previous snow.  Also looking to see what the wind impacts were and whether we could find any sign of persistent weak layers being stressed by the additional loading.

Winds were impressive.  Gusting well into the 30 mph hour range and likely higher.  Plenty of snow transport and felt like you were watching the cornices grow.  New growth on the cornices was so rapid that there was a fairly continuous process of growth and breaking off.

Visibility was extremely poor, so didn't get a chance to see if there was any avalanche activity.  Any avalanches that may of occured would likely have filled in very quickly under those conditions anyway.  Did see some surface cracking in wind effected snow.  A lot of snow coming out of trees, some causing minor cracking.

Dug two quick pits on either side of Noisy Knob, one on a SW aspect and one on a NW.  No results from tests but it was evident that layers were becoming more dense than what we have seen in the recent past.  Had been getting used to uncohesive, low density snow and now we are definitely seeing things starting to stiffen up.

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: 
Strong (Whole trees in motion)
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: 
Accumulation rate: 
Less than 1 in. per hour
More detailed information about the weather: 

Snow was falling at more than an inch an hour during the mid morning but tapered and had mostly stopped by early afternoon.  Difficult to judge at times because of the high winds and snow transport.

Precip Rate: 
S2; moderate snowfall, 2cm/hour
High Temp. (C):