June Lake Area- Snowpack and Weather conditions-Hourglass/Negatives

SNOWPACK OBSERVATION
Hourglass area
Submission Info
Forecaster
Tuesday, January 26, 2021 - 12:00am
Red Flags: 
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain
37° 43' 28.3908" N, 119° 5' 15.36" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

I took a tour out of June Mountain today with nice crisp temperatures (7degF-12degF) and some very nice light surface snow from the small storms of the past few days. Within sheltered trees at the 9500ft elevation new snow averaged around 20cm and was deeper in places. As soon as I entered more open alpine terrain above 10000ft the wind had pressed the new snow and depths were around 10-15cm, but relatively un-wind effected at 11am. The deepest wind load was on NE aspects adjacent to cliffs and terrain features. Here there was upwards of 45cm of new snow with the top 20cm getting firmer--up to 4f+ residing on top of another 20-25cm of low density Fist soft powder. I got some minor cracking on ski cuts and stomping on wind loaded rolls, but it was relatively unreactive. I performed these tests at 10400ft in the lower Negatives areas and hourglass area. The usual uphill approach to reach the negatives had 10-15cm of creamy wind pressed powder that was pleasant to make turns on. A few very minor loose dry sloughs were visible coming from NE facing cliff faces. I did not observe any slab activity in the zone. Small cornice development was evident throughout leeward ridgelines. Winds were swirling and down sloping through complex terrain and on top of the ridge over 11000ft there was a steady 20-25mph SW wind moving snow. The initial cloud front of the impending storm started enveloping the mountains around 230pm.

Dug a quick pit on a due North aspect at 10,400ft where it was not wind loaded and found 70cm total snow. Besides the new 15cm of snow on top the old snow was completely faceted all way through ranging from Fist to 4F hardness. It will be interesting to see what transpires with this weak shallow pack when the main event hits tonight through Thursday which is slated to bring large snow totals. Our old weak residing snowpack is in for a shock and perhaps will be cleaned out with a likely large natural avalanche cycle.

Snowpack photos: 
Snowpit videos (tests, etc): 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Yes
Cloud Cover: 
25% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Moderate
Precipitation: 
None
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: 
Southwest
Accumulation rate: 
More detailed information about the weather: 
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