JR’s San Juan Mountains Weather and Snowpack Discussion 11/26/10 09:30
Sunday afternoon through Monday evening looks to be another active storm period for the San Juans. Today and Saturday a flat ridge of high pressure will modify the cold temperatures that we’ve had the past two days, but it will be breaking down when the flow begins to back to the SW late today/tomorrow as the next Pacific NW storm deepens and moves into the forecast area early Sunday.
The northern and central Rockies will be favored over the southern mountains for snow fall. We’ll see increasing SW winds and dropping air temperatures Monday/Tuesday then clearing skies with storm passage. It’s too early to forecast storm amounts, but it doesn’t look like a storm with face shots.
A short dry spell on Tuesday will be followed by a series of Pacific storms that could affect the southern mountains Wednesday through Friday, but will favor the central and northern mountains.
The cold air temps the past few days have not promoted settlement and strengthening of the snowpack so the CONSIDERABLE hazard is still with us. The recent fierce winds have greatly damaged the pack especially above the trees with very fragile and touchy wind slab conditions. Just about anywhere there is enough snow for skiing you’ll find CONSIDERABLE hazard both above and below TL on the leeward slopes of the recent WSW winds. Watch and listen for cracking or whoomping/talking snow on the steeper wind loaded slopes.
As one can see or feel there are many terrain obstacles lurking just beneath the battered snow surface. It’s ugly right now in the mountains. There has been bar room hubris & tall tales of burials & triggered slides by the more aggressive cultists.