18 Mar 2021

March 18, 2021

     YESTERDAY:

      Cloud cover moved in quickly Wednesday am. 08:00 Hrs -6 with a 15-25 KPH South wind.


      Late start on St Paddy's Day.

      Another awesome morning.

      Clouds were brewing to the South West.

     Still nice snow around.

      Mostly cloudy in the am.

      Mount Currie.


      Looking West.

      Sunset Wednesday evening. 19:19 Hrs.


Weather Observations for March 18, 2021 taken at 06:00 Hours.

2240 meters      -4, Winds were 40-60 KPH S--Horstman Hut
2180 meters      -4, Winds were 40-60 KPH SE--Whistler Peak
1860 meters      -2, Winds were 15-35 KPH SE --Rendezvous 
1835 meters      -1, Winds were 15-25 KPH SE--Round House
1650 meters       0,  0 cm in 12 Hrs, 0 cm in 24 Hrs, Base 268 cm --Pig Alley
1570 meters       0,  0 cm in 12 Hrs, 0 cm in 24 Hrs, Base 192 cm--Catskinner
  660 meters      -1, Valley Temp, Max temp Yesterday was +10.1, 0.0 mm of precip yesterday.



      As of 07:00 Hrs this am we have broken cloud and unlimited visibility.


FORECAST:

A closed upper low off the coast will send a series of frontal bands our way over the next few days. A cold front will arrive later this am in a Southerly flow aloft. Difficult to get the FL right depending on the model, going with 1500-2000 meter range to be safe. Hopefully it stays at around 1600 meters, time will tell, it's a warm air mass associated with the Southerly flow. We can expect wet warm and windy conditions for today as the front arrives around noon. Will likely see a few sunny breaks this am with an increase in clouds prior to the cold fronts arrival. Light precip will continue into Friday am. A short lived break before another cold front pushes through Friday into Saturday with the FL hovering around 1200 meters, dropping down to surface by Friday night. Light precip expected Saturday am with a drying trend around noon with unsettled weather. Another frontal band arrives Sunday with seasonal temps and light precip. Guesstimates: 14-18 cm by Friday am above 1700 meters, 18-22 cm by Saturday am, 1-4 cm by Sunday am, 10-15 cm by Monday am.


     GOES IR image from this am.


      Low will send a cold front our way today.





      Southerly flow aloft.

      Another front for Friday with cooler temps.



       A weak trough for Saturday will see a drying trend and unsettled weather for Saturday.




     AVALANCHE ACTIVITY:

     An avalanche has killed a mountaineer in the Gran Valley San Bernardo, Italy Article below.

      Sz 2 Sa on North side of Decker. MIN report below.                                            HDPaquette Pic



      No new avalanches observed on Whistler. Sz 2 Nc reported on Decker.

      On Blackcomb 1 Sz 2 Xc(cornice control) on Bushrat.


     Recent roof avalanche at Cruiser Corner.

      Rock fall in the Blowhole.



From Sea to Sky avalanche advisory:

Avalanche Summary

Cornices were triggered by explosives on Monday to Wednesday, releasing large chunks that could kill a person but they did not trigger slabs. Avalanche activity is expected to increase in the coming days as a multi-day storm impacts the region.

There's been some large avalanches in the past week around the Whistler area, including near Mt. Fee (see here and here) and last week on Mt. Fissile in the Whistler backcountry. These avalanches may be due to extensive wind loading, but they may also be associated with isolated weak snow from earlier this season.

Snowpack Summary

New wind slabs are expected to form over Thursday as a storm brings in snow and strong south wind. Suspect terrain will include lee (northerly) terrain features adjacent to ridges at treeline and alpine elevations. It is possible that sufficient snow will accumulate in sheltered terrain to form storm slabs, so use particular caution in steep terrain if you find around 10 cm or more of fresh snowfall. The new snow will overly a melt-freeze crust up to around 1600 m and higher on sun-exposed slopes or wind-affected dry snow on northerly aspects at high elevations. Remember that cornices along ridgelines are large at this time of year and always have the possibility of failing naturally or from the weight of a human.

Around 100 to 300 cm of consolidated snow may overly sugary faceted grains formed earlier this season. These layers are expected to be spotty around the region and we haven't received conclusive evidence of them being the culprit of avalanche activity. That being said, it is possible they may be associated with a few recent large avalanches around the Whistler area.



      INFORMATION & OBSERVATIONS:

      There were some great cloud formations all day.

     Where is everyone going?

      Wednesday afternoon.

      Freeway to the backcountry.


      There were some cool clouds around Wednesday afternoon.



FROM SEA TO SKY MIN REPORTS:

Decker: March 17, 2021



VIDEOS:

Old Footage of avalanche caused by a snowmobiler: Buried Neck Deep

Wet Snow, New Weak layer, Old Weak layer: Montana

Powder Picker March 17, 2021: David Jones



ARTICLES:

A snowboarding mountaineer has been killed in an avalanche: Italy

Avalanche center boss will testify in case against Summit County snowboarders: Colorado

Skier triggered slab: Crested Butte

5 ways to ski more sustainably: Blue Bird Backcountry


       Submit your best avalanche photo for a pair of Goggles March 1-31, 2021. Sea to Sky Area.

                                                    Thanks to Volkl Canada for sponsoring.

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