Shooting cracks and developing storm slabs on Punta Bardini

SNOWPACK OBSERVATION
Old Growth, Punta Bardini
Submission Info
Forecaster
Saturday, February 2, 2019 - 2:30pm
Red Flags: 
Whumphing noises, shooting cracks, or collapsing
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain
37° 36' 42.6924" N, 118° 57' 38.6388" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Developing storm slab instability was evident on our tour in the old growth area of Punta Bardini today. Shooting cracks were common, and small loose dry slides were easy to initiate on small test slopes.   As the new snow added up and condensed throughout the day, it got substantially more slab-like. By late afternoon there was well over two ft of fresh snow, and things felt touchy.  Ski pen was about knee to mid-thigh deep, and the storm was unrelenting. Summiting the ridge around 1 pm we did not find significant signs of loading though winds did seem to be increased later in the afternoon.

Digging in on an NW aspect at 8700’ we noted 65cm of new snow and a total depth of 150cm. Compression tests targeting the weak faceted snow about 30 cm broke with moderate loading force and Q2 results (CTM15 Q2 @32).  Extended column test failed on the new old interface but did not propagate across the column (ECTn23).  

Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Snowpit videos (tests, etc): 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Yes
Cloud Cover: 
100% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Moderate
Precipitation: 
Snow
Air temperature trend: 
Cooling
Wind Direction: 
South
Accumulation rate: 
Greater than 1 in. per hour
More detailed information about the weather: 

Heavy snowfall was the name of the game today.  Visibility was limited, and at times it was probably snowing 2 in an hr.  Temperatures felt warm today registering just below freezing at 230 pm.  Things seemed cool off significantly after that.  Winds were light gusting moderate out of the south.

-- placeholder --

ESAC receives significant financial support from ...