There is not enough snow cover to issue avalanche advisories. Read the discussion for updated information and pictures.
Yesterday we travelled to the Coldwater Creek area, looking for deep enough snow to do snowpit tests. The snowpack was composed of the crust/facet sandwich found throughout the forecast area. Snow hardness in this pit was 4F, very low density and tapping the shovel blade for ECT tests resulted in facets falling out from under the shovel.
Large depth hoar crystals- 3-4 mm were found throughout the snowpack. Since the pit was dug in a meadow, the large well developed cups and striated crystals formed because the ground surface was moist and the source of much more water vapor than in forested areas.
Depth hoar, January 18. Coldwater Canyon.
|0600 temperature:||30 deg. F.|
|Max. temperature in the last 24 hours:||48 deg. F.|
|Average wind direction during the last 24 hours:||SW|
|Average wind speed during the last 24 hours:||5 mph|
|Maximum wind gust in the last 24 hours:||10 mph|
|New snowfall in the last 24 hours:||0 inches|
|Total snow depth:||13 inches|
Dry and mild conditions continue for the week. Day time highs will reach the upper 40’s at 8,000 to above 10,000 ft. Nights will be mild at the 9,000-9800 ft elevations with lows barely reaching freezing temperatures. Night time temperatures at elevations above 10,000 ft will reach the upper 20’s. Low temperatures in the Crowley Lk and Long Valley area remain in the teens for the week.
The “Ridiculously Resilient Ridge’” is deflecting a series of warm Pacific storms north into Alaska where flooding and mudslides occurred earlier this week. There is a chance of high elevation snow mid week, but it is more certain that temperatures will fall about 10-15 degrees.
With a huge ridge over the western U.S. the dry spell is expected to continue for at least the next week. The Governor issued a “drought emergency” yesterday.