Soft today firm tomorrow…
21st March 2023
Today was generally dry after some rain overnight, the cloud breaking up early to give good visibility.
The snow cover is still pretty good above 900 metres in the north facing coires and in plateau areas. Over the last few days the snow pack has been moist and slowly consolidating. It cannot really be described as a spring snowpack (i.e. melt-freeze snowpack). As the current snow exhibits the melt without the freeze.
That said, the freezing level is due to fall below the summits tomorrow (Wednesday) and will be around 900 metres early in the morning. This will result in the moist snowpack rapidly freezing to become firm and icy.
There will be implications for travel around the mountains tomorrow, whether on foot or on ski. Especially given the paucity of the runouts. Bare ground and boulders abound on the easier angled slopes and coire floors.
There were quite a few skiers out enjoying the southern side of Cairn Gorm, Coire Raibert and Coire an t-Sneachda today. Good to see them making the most of it, as there will be a brief return to winter tomorrow. Storm force southerly winds and precipitation (rain then snow above 900 metres) are anticipated throughout the forecast period.
Some windslab is likely to be deposited in steep wind sheltered locations on North to East aspects above 900 metres. However, this will most likely to limited in extent and therefore isolated and avoidable. Given the storm force winds there will be ablation of snow into the atmosphere, and softer deposits will be stripped as the windspeed increases. The picture will be a bit more wintery, but the avalanche hazard will remain Low.
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