31 Oct 2014

October 31, 2014

    Happy Halloween, this evening is looking dry, still a very slight chance of some isolated showers.

    Unsettled on Wednesday afternoon with many cloud layers.

    Thursday morning, October 29Th, a few showers until the rain arrived around noon.

    Snow pack certainly wet after Thursday's rain, its still early, makes for a good base.

    Roof avalanche off the Horstman Hut was imminent yesterday afternoon.

Weather observations for October 31, 2014; taken at 06:00 Hours.

2240 meters        -3, Winds were 10-15 KPH from the S
1860 meters        -1, Winds were 0-5 KPH from the WSW
1550 meters       +1, Relative Humidity was 98 %
  660 meters       +6, Valley Temperature, Max Temp Yest was +6.9, 24 mm recorded there.
                                 We have had 55 mm of rain recorded at Nesters Weather Stn since Sunday

For the forecast, the wet Pacific storm passed through early this morning with a cold front moving through in its wake. We can expect lowering freezing levels with the chance of some light rain showers into this afternoon.  A very weak high pressure will develop this afternoon into Saturday  with cooler temperatures and unsettled conditions. At this time Sunday is looking like a cloudy day but dry.  Looking at the short term models makes be optimistic at the present forecast for Saturday into Sunday.  Hopefully better information will be available Saturday. As of now it looks like a series of moist warmish fronts will affect our zone next week, with precipitation and slightly cooler temperatures. Freezing levels will vary from a low hovering around 1300 meters Sunday evening and as high as 2000 meters on Monday. The FL will bounce around as these series of frontal bands move through our zone next week. By Tuesday night we could be back to the 1400 meter level.

It has been a very mild October, Normal Temperatures for today would have a Minimum of -1 and a high of +6. We still have not had a frost in the Whistler area.

    Rain clouds moved in around 12:00 yesterday morning.

    Big picture certainly has a lot of moisture heading our way, Thursday morning image.

    Cooler temperatures for Saturday.

Cold front passed through around midnight, temps at 2240 meters went from 0 to -3 in about 2.5 hours, between 22:00 Hours and 12:30 Hours. Unstable air mass in its wake will likely go North, we should be in for fairly dry day.

    GFS model for Saturday, looking dry for most of the day.

Video Friday's:

Ski Cutting in Uinta Mountains Utah, 2/21/14: Cool Footage

Looks like great skiing in Japan last year: Japan by Van

New way to Base Jump: Angry Bird Style


Danger in the Backcountry-Risk vs Stupidity: D'Arcy McLeish

Online Avalanche Course: Avalanche Canada

Water in snow likes to go with the flow: Boise State University

    Some breaks late Wednesday afternoon, unsettled into early Thursday morning.

    Still white in the alpine but its fairly wet snow!! Freezing level was at 2200 meters at 12:00 Thurs.

                              Jet Stream is not helping to bring cooler temperatures.

29 Oct 2014

October 29, 2014

    Sunrise was at 07:53 Hours Monday morning, October 27, 2014.

    Snow line was looking good on Monday morning.

    Weather moved in by days end on Monday. No real precipitation until after midnight.

   A few breaks in the afternoon, but a fairly wet day Tuesday. 18 mm recorded at 660 meters on Tues.

   This picture pretty much tells the story. +6 at 660 meters and 0 at 2240 Meters 17:00 Hrs Tuesday.

Weather Observations for October 29, 2014; taken at 06:00 Hours.

2240 meters        -1, Winds were 10-20 KPH from the SSW
1860 meters       +1, Winds were 15-30 KPH from the SSE
1550 meters       +3, Relative Humidity was 98 %
  660 meters       +6, Valley Temperature, Max Temp Yest was +6.9, 18.2 mm of rain recorded

For the forecast, the moist warm air mass will slowly exit the area this afternoon as a weak high pressure system aloft brings unsettled conditions by this evening into Thursday morning. We can expect light - moderate rain for most of Thursday morning.  Freezing levels will hover around the 2000 meter level.  The next frontal wave brings moderate-heavy precipitation to the area by Thursday evening, with similar freezing levels. This system should disperse by Friday afternoon ushering in a cool upper trough with unsettled conditions, trending to dry conditions for Saturday.  Freezing levels could go as low as 1000 meters. Long term models at this time have little confidence so will elaborate on the forecast for next week on Friday. The trend on the weekend does appear to be cooler with freezing levels down to 1300 meters (Sunday) in an unsettled pattern. Another Pacific front may be on the way for early next week.

    Satellite picture from yesterday afternoon, October 28, 2014.

    This image taken at the same time as the one above. Need some cooler temps to get the guns on!!

    System that is moving on shore today.

    Model for later this afternoon. Drier conditions this evening.


Big Mountain Skiing: Surviving in Avalanche Country

Snow Guardians - A documentary about Ski Patrolling: Kim Kircher Blog

Wilderness First Aid Kit 101: The Essentials

Remnants of tropical storm 'Ana' affects BC: The Watchers

Uncertainty & Risk, Managing theory with practical adaptation in avalanche hazard: Steve Conger

    Snow line still at a respectable level considering the temperatures.

Hi Wayne,
Went for an exploratory trip up Sproat last Friday. Snow levels were considerably less than expected, Snow Depth on the back of Gin Peak at around 1700m was less than 30cm.  We were able to drive the whole way up the access road that the snowmobile company use, and there was no sign of any snow where we parked at around 1450m.  Not enough to ski on, but we did find this awesome pond skim!


                                                                                                                                    Dan Cudlip Photo

                                                                                                   Dan Cudlip Photo

Hi Wayne, 
I've read your blog for a while, it's great and I hope you keep things going this winter!

I was up in the Duffy this weekend, got some fresh turns in. There was about 40cm of somewhat consolidated base on Saturday, with rain up to 1800m. We slept at 2000m, and got about 10-15 cm overnight. Temperatures were -6 in the morning with a light breeze, and the base was somewhat more consolidated with the cooler temps. Got some fresh turns, and only hit one rock (rock skis recommended)! We saw a small (sz 1ish) on a south facing slope off in the distance later in the morning.

The alpine could use a good dump of snow, but if you can find the right lines, it's game on.

Cheers, Mauro

                                                                                                                             Mauro Perizzalo Photo
                                                                                                                            Mauro Perizzalo Photo

   To Read the paper click here: WSL Institute for Snow & Avalanche Research

27 Oct 2014

October 27, 2014

    Mount Sessel, October 24, 2014. 2746 meters, 46 Km Northwest of Pemberton.

    Recent snow has made the alpine look wintry, sunset on Friday was officially at 18:04.

    Jamie May and Holly Walker get first turns on Blackcomb Glacier Friday, Oct 24.  Photos below.

    Very moist and cool on Saturday with the snow line coming closer to the valley.

    Sunday morning on the Upper Lillooet River,  conditions improved as the day progressed.

    Wedge just after the sun went down at 18:00 hrs on Sunday.

Weather Observations for October 27, 2014; taken at 06:00 Hours.

2240 meters        -7, Winds were 20-30 KPH from the S
1860 meters        -5, Winds were 10-20 KPH from the E
1550 meters        -2, Relative Humidity 90 %
  660 meters       +1, Valley Temperature, Max Temp Yest +8.8, 3.4 mm 0f Precip
                                 We have had 21.6 mm recorded at the Nesters weather station since Friday.

For the forecast, a vigorous front in a Southwest flow is approaching the coast and will affect our zone later today. Cool temperatures this afternoon will bring snow down to 1500 meters as the front moves on shore and intensifies.   Finally the remnants of hurricane Ana will bring light to heavy precipitation to our area Monday evening into Tuesday with rising freezing levels Tuesday evening reaching (2000 meters). This warm weather system is accompanied by a deep surface low and heavy rain with windy conditions can be expected. Wednesday is looking like a showery day with freezing levels dropping slightly to around 1800 meters. Thursday should bring another front as the system from Tuesday will regenerate and come back into our area for more precipitation. Friday is looking like we will see light rain with freezing levels dropping from the 2000 meter level to 1400 meters by the evening. Will update the forecast on Wednesday as I am sure we are in for changes as the week progresses.

    Frontal wave arriving latter today.

    Wednesday at this time is looking like showers.

    Thursday is looking like another wet day.

Karakoram Glacier anomaly resolved, a cold case of climate science: Science Daily

In 'Force Majeure" Society crumbles under an avalanche: Ella Taylor

How accurate are weather models in assisting Avalanche Forecasters? Schirmer& Jamieson

Snow on the road at the summit of the Hurley: IsurvivedtheHurley

Climate change caused by the oceans, not just the atmosphere: Science Daily

    Starting to look a lot like Winter.

    Water was flowing off the moss on Friday.

    Meager Group on Sunday afternoon, cleared up near the end of the day.

    Looks like 60 cm in certain areas on Sunday.

Early Season up to Blackcomb Glacier Provincial Park: Photos from Holly Walker and Jamie May.

Hike up Blackcomb Mountain at 6:45 on Friday, October 24th. First snow was seen on ground just above the bottom of Crystal Chair (~1300m). 

On Blackcomb Glacier, 40cm of fresh consolidated snow was measured above the glacier ice. Snow around 20 degrees was stable but at steeper elevation (approximately 30 degrees) there was cracking. There was still numerous open crevasses and new snow bridges have started to form. 

Clouds broke from around 12:30-13:00, just in time for us to ski on the Blackcomb Glacier. Clouds and light precipitation rolled back in for the hike back down Blackcomb. We reached the Village by 14:45. 

Skier and writer Holly Walker lives in Whistler when she is not traveling in search of perfect pow. Sponsors include Mammut, Clif Bar, K2, Smith, POW and Mons Royale.

    Large holes at the top of Blackcomb Glacier Provincial Park.

    Jamie May getting first turns down the Glacier.

    No surprises in the snow pack.

24 Oct 2014

October 24, 2014

    Wednesday morning, 10:30 hrs, looks to be about 20 cm of new snow.

    Two perspectives of Alexander Falls, Wednesday.

    Slightly over 10 cm of rain in this past week recorded in Whistler.

    There were glimpses of the new snow on Wednesday from the valley.

    Snow line did come down on Thursday.  0 Degrees at 1550 meters by 16:30 hours on Thursday.

    Thick  multi layer cloud on Wednesday. Was a fairly moist day, 9.2 mm of rain recorded at 660 M.

Weather observations for October 24, 2014; taken at 06:00 Hrs.

2240 meters       -6, Winds were 5-10 KPH from the SSW
1860 meters       -4, Winds were 10-20 KPH from the SSE
1550 meters       -1, Relative Humidity 98 %
  660 meters      +4, Valley Temperature, Max Temp Yest was +6.5, 9.2 mm of rain Yest.
                                 105.7 mm of rain has been recorded at the Nesters Weather Station since Sunday.

For the forecast, unsettled conditions with a relatively dry day as a short lived high pressure aloft affects the area into this evening. Saturday is looking wet, with moderate to heavy precipitation expected as a warm front passes through with freezing levels hovering around 1700 meters in a Southerly flow. Tracking of this deepening low is undetermined but seems most of the energy is staying South of our zone. Cooler temperatures and showery conditions will prevail into Sunday with a brief reprise possibly Sunday evening, freezing levels should hover around 1400 meters. Another low pressure system off the coast will arrive for Monday into Tuesday in a Southwesterly flow with moist windy conditions. Freezing levels next week look to fluctuate between 1400 - 1800 meters as a series of systems affect our zone. Will have an update on Monday.

    Relatively dry day today, most of the moisture has gone South.

                               Jet Stream pushing moisture onto California Coast.

   The really big picture!!

     On the edge of the moisture today.


    Another low heading our way Monday into Tuesday.

Video Fridays:

SkyFilmElite Cineflex Reel 2014: MSP Films

When you should park and relax: Kind of the things you see on the Hwy to Whistler

360 0nto a Size 2: Tanner Rainville

The Endless Curl: Koa Smith Wave Ride

360 Deg camera used for ascent of the Eiger North Face: Project 360


Recently had an article posted on the Arcteryx Blog: Winter 2014-2015

The Future of Public Safety Communications: Oplopanax Horridus

Images from Space, Nepal Oct 11 & Oct 16, 2014: Earth Observatory

How to Prepare for Avalanche Conditions in Unfamiliar Terrain: Mountain Skills

Western Austrian mountains hammered by winter storm: Avalanches a Concern

Another update on the deadly storm in Nepal: Possibly 8 still missing

    Very warm temperatures for October, Cherry Tomatoes are still growing!!

    Brandywine Falls going large.

    You Guess?

    Western Grebe on Alta Lake.

   Cool cloud yesterday over Georgia Strait.