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Wind Drifts on Green Butte - Mount Shasta

Location Name: 
Green Butte
Mt. Shasta
Date and time of observation: 
Tue, 02/14/2023 - 12:05pm
Observation made by: 
Red Flags:
Whumphing noises, shooting cracks, or collapsing
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain

Location Map

96067 Mount Shasta , CA
United States
41° 21' 52.8696" N, 122° 12' 26.2836" W
California US

Snowpack Observations


With 4 inches of new snow at 7,000 feet and active winds, I wanted to observe wind slab development at the upper elevations. Near treeline on a southeast aspect I experienced wind transporting new snow onto southerly slopes with fresh drifts developing up to one foot thick on the leeward sides of roll-overs and ridgelines. These drifts were touchy under my weight with shooting cracks reaching lengths up to five feet long. The drifts top 3 - 5 cm of snow were four-finger hardness with less dense snow below. Underneath the new snow was a slippery crust making it easy for fresh snow and drifts to slide. Winds from the northwest blew at moderate speeds with strong gusts near treeline. Visibility was poor, limiting observations to near and below treeline. Temperatures remained below freezing with a stout wind chill.

  • Observation Location: Old Ski Bowl 
  • Elevation: 7,800 feet 
  • Date: 2023.02.14
  • Time: 1200
  • Observer: E. Falconer
  • Sky Conditions:  Overcast (OVC) | Obscured (X)
  • Current Precipitation: Type -  SN - S1 | S2 
  • Air Temperature: 13 °F
  • Surface Penetration: Ski penetration (PS) = 4 in (9 cm), boot penetration (PF) = 10 in (25 cm)
  • Total Snow Depth (HS): 128 in (325 cm)
  • 24-hour New Snow Depth (HN24): 4 in (10 cm)
  • 24-hour New Snow Water Equivalent (HN24W): 0
  • Wind Direction: NW
  • Wind Speed: Moderate (M), 17-25 mi/hr, small trees sway | Strong (S), 26-38 mi/hr, whole trees in motion 


  • wind drift cracking on convex roll
  • near treeline conditions
  • slick crust beneath new snow
  • blowing snow over scoured southeast ridge
  • scoured northwest aspect on knoll
  • best visibility all day
  • near to the worst visibility all day
  • 4 inches of new snow on slick crust near and below treeline

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: