Today we finally got the long expected big storm!!! We woke up to find more than 70 cm of new snow on our study plot at 2200 meters.
We took our observations at 9:40 am and it was still snowing at a rate of 3 cm per hour. Air temperature was -2 deg Celsius, and Foot Penetration was 60 cm. A quick CT showed the concerning result of CTM20 SP down 110 cm on the graupel layer, presumably form the 4th of February.
The snow today was wet and heavy. All avalanche safety canons were fired in the morning, producing large avalanches in Banderitsa Shoots. We lack information from the canon at Palashitsa as visibility was bad, but we know for certain it triggered an avalanche. We received information about a huge avalanche (size 4) tearing down vegetation on the east side of Vihren peak (see photo).
The snow below approx 2200 meters lies on top of a rain crust which makes the slab particularly touchy. We will have to keep an eye on this particular layer as it may develop into a persistent weakness. Something else to keep in mind is the strong SE wind from the beginning of the storm yesterday and its reoccurrance today afternoon. Some of the new snow will be deposited on N / NW aspects.
According to the forecast it will keep snowing tomorrow as well. In the coming days we expect the storm to come to an end, followed by a warming trend. The risk of large storm slabs, potentially stepping down to deeper persistent layers remains very high for tomorrow and Wednesday. So hold on for a bit more, good skiing is around the corner!