Forecaster Observation - Red Meadow, Northern Whitefish Range

Location Name: 
Forecaster Observation - Red Meadow, Northern Whitefish Range
Whitefish Range - Northern (north of Coal Creek)
Date and time of observation: 
Tue, 12/20/2016 - 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, given the poor visibility and rapid loading due to snow and wind transported snow we avoided avalanche terrain. We noted deep wind drifts (4-5 feet) forming on the road near Red Meadow Lake.

In more sheltered areas, warming temperatures and heavy snow fall formed 6-12 inch thick storm slabs on top of the cold, cohesionless snow surface. We observed minor cracking in these soft slabs on the flats and gentle slope of the road, but suspect that they were quite reactive on steeper slopes.

We dug snow pits in inconsequential terrain like cut banks along the road, hunting for surface hoar and facets formed during last week's cold snap.  We found surface hoar buried by a little more than a foot of storm snow that fractured and propagated with moderate force in Extended Column Tests. 

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: 
Greater than 1 in. per hour
More detailed information about the weather: 

There were a few breaks in the clouds and decent visibilty near the parking area on the North Fork Road.  At elevations above ~5500 feet visibility was obscured to low clouds, heavy snowfall, and strong wind gusts.  

Precip Rate: 
S5; heavy snowfall, 5cm/hour
High Temp. (C): 
Low Temp. (C):