Sunday, March 4, 2012

Instant Spring, Just Add Sun

What a spectacular day today.  My back recovered enough that I could sneak out for a quick tour and some freshies this morning and I was glad I got out early.  It's like a microwave out there.  We've seen crest-level temperatures this winter as warm as they are today, but the March sun is so much more powerful.  A day like today in December and you've got yourself an inversion.  In March you've got 50F by noon, which is what happened at KSLC.

Even on my early tour, I was dealing with gloppy snow in sun exposed places.  I'm sure there are going to be some slides today on southern aspects.  Spring slides can be incredibly powerful and can travel great distances over lower angle terrain (sometimes at low speed).  Bob Smith, one of my colleagues here at the U, informed me of the video below of a slow moving but incredibly powerful avalanche destroying a ski lift in France on Friday.  Click on cc for the english translation.


  1. And you where right LCC is closed due to an avalanche!

    1. Big storm followed by rapid warming with sun is a recipe for that to happen this time of year.