Forecaster Observation - Marion Lake area, Flathead Range

Location Name: 
Forecaster Observation - Marion Lake area, Flathead Range
Flathead Range - Middle Fork Corridor
Date and time of observation: 
Wed, 01/13/2016 - 12:00
Location Map: 

Red Flags: 
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain

Observation made by: Public
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Freezing rain crust from 1/12/2016 up to at least 7200 feet in this area. 2-6 inches of new snow sits atop this crust. Beneath this crust is 2-4 inches of snow from late last week (1/7---1/8) that has now started to facet. On sunny aspects this now sits atop a melt-freeze (sun) crust from early January. On more shaded aspects this sun crust does not exist. We did not find surface hoar in this location, but we purposefully selected areas that were previously exposed to sun and/or wind that could have caused the surface hoar to melt or get destroyed. 

Wind slabs started to develop throughout the day and become more reactive and by the mid-afternoon. 6 inch wind slabs were evident (see attached photo). It seems that with more snow overnight these slabs will become thicker and more reactive as they fall upon current near surface instabilitites and crusts.

We also observed rollerballs, pinwheels, and very small wet loose sluffs on road cuts and steep slopes below 4500-5000 feet due to wet snow and rain at lower elevations.

Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Snowpack photos: 
Snowpit videos (tests, etc): 

January 13, 2016 - Wind loading and incoming storm

Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Cloud Cover: 
100% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Strong (Whole trees in motion)
Mixed rain and snow
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: 
Accumulation rate: 
Less than 1 in. per hour
More detailed information about the weather: 

In both the morning and afternoon snow level was around 4000-4500 feet. It was raining in Essex, but snowing at mid to upper elevations (above 4500-5000 feet).

Precip Rate: 
S1; light snowfall, 1cm/hour
High Temp. (C): 
Low Temp. (C):