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: 
Wed, 03/08/2017 - 12:30
Location Map: 

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

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

We rode into the Red Meadow area today to assess recent storm instabilities in the northern Whitefish Range.  From Red Meadow Lake level ( about 5500 feet) we could see large plumes of snow blowing off of the surrounding peaks and ridgelines, and large, overhanging cornices that had formed throughout the winter. We skinned up the ridge that divides Red Meadow Road from Chain Lakes and found deep, unconsolidated snow in sheltered areas on our ascent. Along the ridgeline the moderate winds drifted the new snow and added depth to the multiple layers of wind slabs. We observed cracking in the upper snow pack in isolated areas, and triggered a small, 14 inch thick soft slab on a steep feature on top of the ridge. In this location the reactive slabs were fairly confined to areas immediately below the leeward ridges. We dug two snow pits on the same northeast aspect. The first was about 20 vertical feet down the slope and found a 10 inch slab that fractured and propagated with easy force in extended column tests (ECTP 3). Our second pit was about 50 feet lower on the slope. This area was still affected by wind, but the slab was much softer and fractured without propagating.


Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Cloud Cover: 
75% 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: 

Variable weather conditions today. Sky cover was ranged from a scattered clouds with a bit of sun to overcast.  Winds were southwest 7-13 mph with gusts in the 20s at higher elevations. Also, variability in precipitation rates. Light snow began mid-day and incresed in intensity as the day progresses. A few squalls moved through that brough brief periods of 1-2 inchs per hour.

Precip Rate: 
S1; light snowfall, 1cm/hour
High Temp. (C): 
Low Temp. (C):