Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Snow Report

I was able to get up this morning for a quick lap on the Collins glacier to check out the snow situation.  

My ideal first tour of the year is a mild, bluebird powder day.  That's not what I found this morning.  For a while, skinning up above the Watson Shelter, it was snowing hard, the snow guns were blasting, and the wind was roaring down the mountain in my face.  I found myself skiing up with the hood of my shell up and fully zipped.  Welcome to winter!

The wind was primarily a blessing, as it smoothed things out and made for good skiing in places.  It was a curse in a few others, but one can't complain.  The snow situation is better than I expected a few days ago before the weekend storm. 

Automated observations from the Alta Collins observing site suggest 4" of low-density snow fell this morning.  The gauge measured water equivalent is almost surely too low as is often the case when there's strong wind and low-density snow, but using the gauge measurement yields a water content of just under 3%.  

There will be a few snow showers this afternoon and possibly in the early evening.  Then we have a break until late Friday night or early Saturday morning when the next front approaches.  The early part of the storm Friday night looks to be a good producer for the northern Wasatch, although everyone will be getting something.  Mean water equivalent and snowfall from the SREF for the Friday night-Saturday storm is around 0.75"/13".  As was the case for last weekend's storm, the NAEFS is more enthusiastic, with a mean of about 1.75"/24".  The GFS is around .78"/10".  

Let's keep expectations low and hope for another overproducer.  Low expectations are the key to a happy life.  

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