Sunday, November 18, 2012

Settlement and Recovery

Early morning snow at Alta
Last weekend's lake-effect snow was relatively low density, and thus underwent substantial settlement and compaction this week.  The Alta-Collins 7 am snow depth dropped from a maximum of 42 inches on October 11 to a minimum of 24 inches yesterday.

Notice, however, the uptick to 29 inches this morning.  The dribs and drabs of wet snow yesterday and overnight are adding up.  And it is high density base builder.  Over the past 24 hours, Alta-Collins has observed 8 inches of snow with 1.16 inches of SWE.  That's 14.5% water content.  The Utah Avalanche Center suggests the storm is producing quite a bit of graupel.  If it's white, it's good, and if it's graupel, better yet.


  1. I thought graupel was bad to have? Or is that later on in the season near a weak layer as a sliding surface?

  2. Wow, I'm hoping this snow will stay around for Thanksgiving? I'm driving up to Alta from Phoenix, AZ where it was over 80 degrees today. I hope all the snow doesn't melt off in the next few days. I'd be ecstatic if all I had to ski on were some groomed blues that wouldn't destroy my skis. My standards are much lower than yours =)

    I mean, it's either this, or Wolf Creek, which has just 15".