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Friday the 13th...Out in the Storm - Old Ski Bowl

Location Name: 
Old Ski Bowl
Mt. Shasta
Date and time of observation: 
Fri, 12/13/2019 - 12:30pm
Observation made by: 

Location Map

96067 Mount Shasta , CA
United States
41° 21' 45.3204" N, 122° 11' 56.9292" W
California US

Snowpack Observations


20191213 - 1230 hours - Meyers - Old Ski Bowl - 8,500 feet / Near Treeline

SKY: Obscured 100%, foggy, low visibility, flat light

PRECIP: Yes, S1 (.5 in/hr) At 8,500 feet, snow/mist like precipitation fell from the sky, the type that rimes up (freezes) on all your clothing, goggles, exposed objects etc. Active riming was observed.

BLOWING SNOW: Yes,  however snow transport by wind at this elevation was limited due to the moist nature of new snow.  Previous drifting not observed.

Air Temp:   27.5 deg F

SURF PEN: 12 inches (boot) / 6 inches (snowmobile)

Height of snowpack (HS): 47 inches

Height of new snow (HS): 1-3 inches on top of very thin zipper (rain) crust.

Wind: Yes, out of the southwest, a steady 15-20 mph wind in only exposed areas near treeline and windy in most areas above treeline. Gusts to 25-30 mph.

NOTES: This storm felt like a some good 'ol Shasta Plaster. Visibility was very difficult and the light flat. Solid, above treeline observations have been hard to come by.

Prominent crust 7 inches down from surface (see photo) produced planar fractures both above and below the layer in compression tests, but could not propagate in extended column tests. Easy/Moderate shovel shear was able to produce slab propagation. Actually triggering an avalanche on this layer seems unlikely now...perhaps more likely with increased load and a steeper slope.


Weather Observations


Cloud Cover: 
100% of the sky covered by clouds
Blowing Snow: 
Accumulation rate: 
Less than 1 in. per hour
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Speed: 
Wind Direction: