Beautiful bluebird sky day out there. All resorts ARE open today with most lifts running. Most of the powder has been well tracked and the best bet would've been first down the fresh groomers this morning. Due to warming temperatures, expected to be 10+deg.C , the snow will be softening up as the day progresses and all south aspects will be sun baked and heavy snow. Look for the shaded areas for the better snow today. Grab your sunglasses and sunscreen, get out there and enjoy the uncrowded slopes before the big three day weekend!
The Hira Kawa Snow Study Plot (830m a.s.l.) 0700 hr. reading is:
Temperature: Present: -8.0 C
Maximum: 1.5 C
Minimum: -12.0 C
Winds aloft: no snow plumes from ridges and no clouds to observe movement of
Barometer and trend: 925 hPa and steady
Height of new snow in 24 hours (HN24): 0 cm
Total depth of snowpack (HS): 98 cm
Foot penetration: 55 cm
Surface: faceted with surface hoar crystals80.5 mm), sized 1.5 mm
Density of surface snow: 120 kg/ cubic metre
Above tree line: Considerable
Tree line: Considerable
Below tree line: Moderate
N.B. hazard will increase with day time warming. The forecast high in the valley is 11 C.
--one size 2, slab, NE aspect, slope 35 degrees, elevation 1,930 m a.s.l., crown width 40 m, crown height 100 cm, length of run 100 m/ 60 m vertical, failure plane: surface hoar 4mm, trigger: digging a snow profile (skier accidental), location: Hiyodori Mine above Tsuga Ike Lift Company terrain. This is an example of the "pockets of surface hoar" that have been referred to in previous reports.
-- two size 2.5, slab, SE aspect, elevation 2,150 m a.s.l., length of run: to top of fan, location: steep terrain on the east side of the Tengu Para overlooking the Oya Zawa, trigger: wind loading (the fractures where refilling during the day.
Compression tests: 07-02-03
site: Happo, 1,800 m a.s.l., E aspect, slope 34 degrees, sky clear, precipitation nil, moderate to strong west winds, Ta -2.5, Ts -9.8, time 1430 hrs., HS 300 plus cm. CTM @ 75 cm on decomposing fragments, resistant planar, x 2; CTH @125 cm, melt/freeze faceting, sudden planar, x 2
Same site but S aspect. CTM(18) @ 90 cm, sudden collapse, melt/freeze faceting, x 2; CTE (4) @ 10 cm, on decomposing rounds and melt/freeze interface, progressive compression, x 2.
On shaded aspects the new storm snow is overlaying the preserved low density crystals of last week's storm.
On southern aspects there are multiple melt/freeze crusts with faceting grains 2 to 3 mm.
Be aware when new snow buries these melt/freeze crusts of February 3rd. Wind transported snow appears to be bonding well to February 1st melt/freeze crust.
Snow pack is shallow around rocks. Large grain depth hoar can be found around ridge top rocks and trees.
Use greater caution on steeper terrain as new snow accumulates on February 3 rd melt/freeze crust. Active wind transport has been taking place the past two days. Be wary around steep, wind loaded rocky outcrops.