Monday, March 12, 2012

Alta 88

I just noticed that the Alta-Collins snow depth has dropped to 88 inches.  Are you kidding me!  This is MARCH.  There's probably no net loss of water in the snowpack at this location, but we're seeing compaction and densification thanks to the warm weather.  Cold air is coming, but won't be here until the weekend.

BTW, on this date last year...153 inches.


  1. i dont know, have you been up there in the last week? seems like the snowpack has definitely experienced some melting. air temps well above freezing every day and nonstop intense sunlight... there are a lot of new bare spots that havent been dry for a few months. not good.

  2. Brian - I'm sure that's the case on southerly aspects (especially where it is thin), but for there to be a net loss of mass, however, the snowpack needs to "ripen" so that it's entire depth is 0C/32F. I doubt that's the case at Collins. Perhaps there's some surface melt, but I suspect the water is refreezing in the snowpack.

  3. and thats why youre the expert. the spots im thinking of were already thin, all on steep S or W facing terrain, and all sitting on rock. most were on crests. im sure the water all refroze within spitting distance of the new bare spots