Blowing snow and wind slab formation pre storm.

Location Name: 
Rubicon Peak
West Shore Area
Date and time of observation: 
Wed, 01/24/2018 - 12:00
Location Map: 
United States
38° 59' 11.6124" N, 120° 7' 56.5932" W

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

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

Strong to gale force SW winds were swirling and redistributing old snow on the ground at all elevations both above and below treeline on Rubicon Peak today. New wind slabs up to 6 inches thick had formed in lee areas, but did not crack very easily in most areas. The thickest slabs were in the more predictable areas along ridgelines.

Numerous hand pits were used to look for buried surface hoar below treeline in the large open areas on the N-NE aspects of Rubicon Peak. No signs of problematic buried surface hoar were observed.

Wind affected and wind drifted snow was noted in all areas on the N-NE-E aspects traveled. This wind affected snow is on top of near surface faceted snow and/or rain crust. Informal observations noted a slab over potential weak layer structure, with no signs of current instability.

Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Cloud Cover: 
100% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: