Winds and Warming Snow Surfaces BTL Near Mammoth Mountain

SNOWPACK OBSERVATION
Submission Info
Volunteer Observer
Tuesday, March 3, 2020 - 11:00am
Red Flags: 
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain
Rapid warming
Mammoth Mountain 37° 37' 22.206" N, 119° 2' 38.4648" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

At around 10:30 a.m. winds were moderate out of the NE and still transporting light amounts of snow at ridgetop and from more subtle windward features on the backside of Mammoth Mountain. Small amounts of windloading were apparent in lower starting zones in the Fresno Bowl feature. Small terrain features showed evidence of cracking isolated to skis, primarily on the leeward side of small tree islands. We traversed across windswept lunar snowsurfaces to the skiers left side of the bowl where textured, wind affected snow was found on lower angle slopes. Staying light on your feet allowed you to stay off of the firm, old snow surface about 6" down. While a bit grabby, it skied relatively well until treeline, where the conditions fell apart rapidly. Sticky, heavy snow was found from treeline to Sotcher Lake. Cold dry snow beneath the moist surface snow provided plenty of opportunity for glopping on unwaxed skis if you stood in one place for any amount of time. On steeper West facing trees near the Sotcher Cliffs we observed small roller balls originating from skis, but even hard turns in steep terrain did not result in any loose wet activity. No signs of loose wet activity in the Sotcher Cliffs, which were mostly rock and manzanita with discontinuous snow in open areas. New snow amounts decreased with elevation approaching Sotcher Lake and there were isolated panels of old snow which resembled corn skiing. Snow cover is thin at this elevation with the bases of trees visible and dry pavement patches on the Reds Meadow Rd. Spring fed streams were running on the roadside coming off of the San Joaquin Ridge. 

Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Yes
Cloud Cover: 
Clear
Air temperature: 
Above Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Moderate
Precipitation: 
None
Air temperature trend: 
Warming
Wind Direction: 
Northeast
Accumulation rate: 
None
More detailed information about the weather: 

ESAC receives significant financial support from ...