19 Feb 2017

February 19, 2017


    An avalanche in Italy has claimed 3 ski mountaineers, story in article section.                Net Pic

    An avalanche has killed 6 workers at the Lowari Tunnel construction site, story below.    Net Pic

    Locally, no new avalanches observed. Watch out in the bowls on WB for cornice debris.


    Overcast early Saturday morning, February 18, 2017.

    That's a lot of snow!!

    Some nice light in the morning.

    Racing on Lower Franz's Run

    Saturday morning.


Weather Observations for February 19, 2017: taken at 06:00 Hours.

2240 meters      -8, Winds were 30-50 KPH SE  --Horstman Hut 
2180 meters      -7, Winds were 30-40 KPH SE  --Whistler Peak
1860 meters      -6, Winds were 10-30 KPH ESE--Rendevous
1835 meters      -5, Winds were 15-25 KPH ESE--Roundhouse
1650 meters      -4, 3 cm of new snow, 4 cm in 24 hrs, 250 cm Base, RH 88%  --Pig Alley
1550 meters      -4, 3 cm of new snow, 4 cm in 24 hrs, 181 cm Base, RH 95%  --Catskinner 
  660 meters       0, Valley Temp, Max Temp Yesterday was +4.8, 0.9 mm of Precip recorded yest

    As of 07:00 Hrs this am we have overcast skies, variable visibility and it is snowing lightly.


A weak frontal band will bring overcast conditions and light/moderate snow fall to the area today in a Southwest flow aloft. The FL will likely spike at around 1000 meters this afternoon and then drop back to about 800 meters tonight. The low coming out of the South will weaken on Monday with overcast conditions and some intermittent snow flurries during the day. The FL on Monday could spike at 1200 meters.  Another low will influence the area on Tuesday morning with mostly overcast conditions and some snow flurries. A Northwest flow aloft, and an associated upper trough will bring cool unsettled weather to the area on Wednesday into next weekend. During this period there will be moments of weak ridging and we could occasionally see the sun. At this time Thursday is looking like the brightest day.
Guesstimates: 10-15 cm by Monday morning, trace -1 cm by Tuesday morning, 2-4 cm by Wednesday morning.

    GOES IR this am.

   Steady light snow for today, moderate snowfall possible tonight.

    Moisture moving up from the South.

    Cloudy but drier on Monday.

    Cloudy with flurries for Tuesday.

    Unsettled for Wednesday.


                      Steep Creek Area                                                           Jeff Van Driel Image

Busy day up at Steep Creek yesterday with -4, light sporadic snow and light variable winds. 
20cm of coastal powder sits on the crust from the latest storm above 1900m. Good skiing down to 1800m where the crust now mostly supports the weight of a skier down to 1200m. We had limited alpine observations, but there appeared to be little wind effect. 
We dug a test pit on a north aspect at 1990m with a snowpack depth of 300cm. No test results from within the storm snow. We found the February 3 surface hoar down 97cm and the January 16 surface hoar down 150cm which both produced hard sudden planar test results.
Evidence of a storm cycle to size 2.5, otherwise no new avalanches observed. 
Cornices have grown significantly and could be the large trigger to initiate the surface hoar layers. 

Cheers Jeff

    Upper cloud layer was fairly thin.

    Creekside Graffiti


Avalanche kills three mountaineers near Mount Chaberton: Italy

Six die in an avalanche at the Lowari Tunnel construction site: Pakistan

One killed, two injured as Avalanche hits village in Chitral: Pakistan

Celebrating Backing Down: Backcountry Skiing Canada

Against a snowy death: Predicting avalanches with self-driving car technology: The Mercury News

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