Fresh Snow, Starting to Consolidate.

23rd March 2024

Visibility was poor on Aonach Mor this morning which hampered observations to some extent. Heavy snow showers were building the cornices and depositing windslab in sheltered locations at higher areas. With relatively warm snow temperatures (even at 1200 metres, the coldest snow temperature I found was -2°C), the snowpack  will already be starting to consolidate. Conditions are expected to remain relatively settled over the the next 24 hours,  and so this consolidating trend is expected to continue. However, the cornices that have formed  recently will potentially remain unstable.

Conditions on the Aonach Mor plateau this morning. It felt quite desolate.

Poor visibility at the top of Easy Gully. However, you can make out some sort of crack/slumped cornice feature. I could not see exactly what was going on, but from this and other observations there does seem to be some fresh unstable cornices about at the moment.

A rimed up sign. The air flow pattern around the sign can be seen by the direction that the feathers of rime point in.

Rime on a post with the arm/hand to increase the contrast. Rime forms into the wind due to the super cooled water drops that make up cloud hitting objects and freezing on impact. However, the actual shape of the rime forms into will depend in many factors; temperature, windspeed, how much moister there is in the cloud and the shape of the object to name a few. In this case the points of the rime were forming a characteristic triangular shapes a few centimetres in size. You can also see the tips of the spikes (which are forming into the wind) are clearer, this would have been associated with the increasing temperature. In general the closer it is to freezing, the clearer the rime is.

An image taken from the Nevis Range webcam early afternoon when visibility had improved which show the extent of the new snow. Given that the foreground held essentially no snow yesterday morning, it has been a reasonable snow fall.

Comments on this post

  • Damien McGovern
    23rd March 2024 5:44 pm

    Class report, pics and description as always. Heard there were some slides around the twins area today… as you guys rightly predicted. Will stick with the ridges tomorrow!

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