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Strong Winds in the Alpine
Very strong wind out of the NE-ENE today. There isn't a whole lot of snow out there available for transport, but we did observe blowing snow in some areas. The wind was even blowing strong enough at Bunny Flat this morning to knock you around, with cinder dust clouds in the parking lot. Readings from the Gray Butte weather station showed average wind speeds in the 50's with gusts in the 70 MPH range in the AM. No wind slab development was observed; no signs of instability or avalanches.
The snow surface was already pretty wind-blasted in the alpine, and today certainly added some more texture. Surface conditions are variable. The snow was firm in the morning at Bunny Flat, but not completely supportable to boots. Climbers may still want to bring snowshoes or skis for the approach. Reports from high on the mountain recently indicate hard and icy conditions. This wind storm will have stripped even more soft snow from the upper mountain and exposed more rock and ice along ridges.
Sunny slopes are melting out to dirt and rock in places. Below treeline the snow surface now has a concerning layer of pine needles, pine cones, lichen, twigs, branches, and some freshly blown down trees. Heads up! Ambient air temperatures today were again unseasonably warm.
PRAY FOR SNOW.
- Observation Location: Old Ski Bowl
- Elevation: 8,000'
- Date: 20220121
- Time: 1200
- Observer: R. Lazzeri, N. Meyers
- Sky Conditions: CLR
- Current Precipitation: NO
- Air Temperature: 37 °F
- Total Snow Depth (HS): 67 in
- 24-hour New Snow Depth (HN24): 0
- 24-hour New Snow Water Equivalent (HN24W): 0
- Wind Direction: NE
- Wind Speed: Strong/Extreme