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Storm snow totals and pictures from across the forecast area...

Location Name: 
Mt Shasta, Eddy's, Castle Lake, Pilgrim Creek Snow Park
Region: 
Mt. Shasta
Date and time of observation: 
Sat, 03/05/2022 - 10:00am
Observation made by: 
Forecaster

Location Map

Snowpack Observations

Details

The set of storms that began on Wednesday night and ended Saturday morning (3.5.22) brought an interesting display of snow accumulation across the forecast area. The storm track was generally NW to SE. As reported by observers and weather stations, areas in the northern Eddies, the north side of the mountain, Ash Creek Butte and outside the area, Lassen Peak, received double what was seen on the south side of Mt. Shasta, the Ski Park, Pilgrim Creek snow park. Mt. Shasta City received about 4 inches, yet Bunny Flat only an inch or so. It's often that the south side of the mountain is the rain shadow during northerly storms. Northerly storms are nice and cold, but not as wet. 

The weather today did not clear as quickly as thought. While precipitation was nill, mostly obscured skies dominated the day with blue sky and sun poking through infrequently. Wind was a factor and experienced by all skiers across the forecast area near and above treeline. The wind blew primarily out of the SSW on Gray Butte (south side of mountain), but WNW out at the Weed Airport in the valley. Forecasted winds and overall wind direction is northwesterly.

It's that time of the year when the sun is getting higher in the sky and the effect of sun on snow is significant, especially after storms. Loose wet slides and larger point releases are potentially coming into the game. From here on out, anytime the good old California sun pops out after fresh snow, user beware of steep slopes with a long fetch. 

Castle Lake had a little less than an inch of snow in the parking lot at 9:00 a.m. There's just enough old snow remaining to skin up the trail toward Heart Lake, but it's getting thin out of the gate. In general there wasn't enough new snow to cover up the old snow surface, which is rough and frozen. The wind was moderate out of the north and strong at the ridgetop. There were isolated pockets of new snow up to 2 inches deep in some sheltered areas and depressions. Everything else was pretty wind-scoured and devoid of new snow. Where it did stick the new snow appeared well-bonded to the old snow surface. The south facing aspects are almost completely melted out. Although there aren't many surviving cornices in the zone, the large one at the ridgeline above Little Castle lake had a large crack behind it where it's starting to calve. If we get into another warm stretch of weather keep this in mind if traveling in areas with large cornices. I did not test the lake ice, as it appeared thin around the edges. 

The Eddy Mountains received about 6-8 inches of new snow above 5,500 feet. Two to three of those inches came in the first storm wave, the remaining inches most recently. Windy conditions over the ridgetops made for some wind slab formation. Below treeline, sunny slopes produced small roller ball action within the new snow. Much of the terrain in the Eddies is barely skiable below 5,300 feet. Above, it is better and skiers enjoyed good snow along the crest. 

On Mt. Shasta, about 1 inch was measurable below and near treeline. Much of the fresh snow was blown away above treeline. Surfaces were firm and crusty, visibility was impaired. It is still possible to ski and launch a snowmobile out of Bunny Flat. 

At a glance, here are a few storm snow totals from around the forecast area, reported this morning from observers and weather stations:

  • Mt Shasta/Bunny Flat - 1"
  • Mt Shasta City - 4"
  • Castle Lake - 2"
  • Eddy Mountains, Caldwell Lakes Trailhead - 6-8" / ~25" total height of snow
  • Ash Creek Butte - 6"
  • Pilgrim Creek Snow Park - 0"
  • Lassen Peak area - 8-10"

Photos

  • Cornice starting to calve due to recent warm weather.
  • Left Peak above Castle Lake.
  • Middle Peak ridgeline above Castle Lake.
  • Middle Peak, above Castle Lake.
  • South facing slope of Right Peak, above Castle Lake.
  • Pilgrim Creek Snow Park.
  • Military Pass road from Pilgrim Creek Snow Park.
  • Parking location on Parks Creek Road (FS17), approx. 1.25 mile below Caldwell Lakes Trailhead
  • A couple inches of snow on the road at 5,000 feet, Parks/Eddy area
  • Parks/Eddy road
  • A couple inches on supportable crust, Parks/Eddy area
  • Road heading up to Caldwell Lakes TH
  • Caldwell Lakes TH
  • Road heading down from Caldwell Lakes TH
  • Trail to Caldwell Lakes
  • Avalanche Gulch, lower, Mt. Shasta
  • Mt Shasta, Spring Hill area
  • Avalanche Gulch above treeline
  • Avalanche Gulch above treeline

Weather Observations

Statistics

Cloud Cover: 
75% of the sky covered by clouds
Blowing Snow: 
Yes
Precipitation: 
None
Accumulation rate: 
None
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Air temperature trend: 
Static
Wind Speed: 
Moderate
Wind Direction: 
Northwest