Lee Vining Snow conditions

SNOWPACK OBSERVATION
The End, Banana chute
Submission Info
Forecaster
Thursday, March 14, 2019 - 2:30pm
Red Flags: 
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain
Rapid warming
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

I spent the day today in the lee vining area.  We left the car today with the goal of skiing the northerly trees below “the end” of the Dana Plateau. The temperature was very cold this morning and many layers were necessary until the sun came out.  Supportable melt freeze crust made up much of our tour early this morning and was evidence of a very hard freeze last night. It became increasingly apparent as we approached the end of the plateau that this area was heavily wind affected. Surface conditions were largely supportable wind board with an inch or two of fresh snow in some areas. Conditions in the trees we had hoped to ski were less than ideal and we decided to shift gears. We lucked out and found some lower angle sheltered terrain where the hardwood floor was harder to feel under the limited soft snow.  We decided to climb back towards the plateau and descend to the car via the Banana Chute.   Snow in the chute was pleasant and predictable comprised largely of cold dry snow and made for an ideal end to the day. 

 Aspect played a big role in surface conditions today and this was made obvious by our traverse across the top of V bowl to begin our final descent.  We encountered wet corn like snow on solar aspects, supportable and breakable crusts, and even some cold dry powder snow on shaded sheltered slopes.  The solar radiation was intense today and while the temperature at 1 pm was -3°c at 9700’ things felt much warmer particularly in the sun.  We did not, however, observe any rollerballs or signs of loose wet activity.  Overall the snowpack appears to be in a state of change. Spring is on the way but it will take some time for things to settle out. 

Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
No
Cloud Cover: 
Clear
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Light
Precipitation: 
None
Air temperature trend: 
Warming
Wind Direction: 
Accumulation rate: 
None
More detailed information about the weather: 

Winds were light today the temperature was below freezing and the sun was intense.  No blowing snow was observed along the Dana Plataue however upper elevations showed ample evidence of recent strong winds. 

1 pm- 9700’ -3°c light winds, clear skies

230 pm- 7400’ -1°c calm winds, clear skies

   
 
 
 
 
 
-- placeholder --
 
 
 

ESAC receives support from ...