SW winds preceded the cold low pressure system that passed through yesterday morning, but most of the snow fell during calmer conditions. Ski cuts, test slopes, and snowpack tests throughout the Mammoth Zone and up in Virginia Lakes show the new snow to be well bonded and largely unconsolidated. Several small sloughs were observed on steep northerly slopes. With cold temperatures, light winds, and a few showers overnight and this morning, windward areas are flush with light new snow ready for transport. Light to moderate winds today, primarily from the N and NW, could create small wind slabs in isolated areas that promote drifting. Be careful in steep alpine terrain. Watch for blowing snow, cornice formation, and rounded drifts will be the best clues for wind slab formation.
High humidity and warm temperatures has caused the upper snowpack to set up into a hard layer above the persistent weak layer. Probing and digging has shown that this sugary snow still exists in the middle and bottom of the snowpack in specific areas, but test results have been less and less reactive. We will have to monitor it and see what stress it can handle before any major new loading.
Below ~9,000’ the new snow will not be enough to cover the rocks and brush poking up from the surface.