The Science Behind Surface Hoar, Part 1

The Science Behind Surface Hoar, Part 1

Snow scientists Bruce Jamieson and Simon Horton recently teamed up to produce a three-part video series titled “The Science Behind Surface Hoar and Its Insidious Avalanches.” The series is intended to provide, in Jamison’s words, “more science that is necessary” and certainly goes more in-depth than a recreational avalanche course.

For those curious types who’ve taken an avalanche course or spent a reasonable amount of time in the backcountry, you may want to take on the challenge and learn more about this notorious persistent weak layer.

In Part 1, Jamieson and Horton lead with a case study before diving into the science behind surface hoar formation, weather conditions that favor its growth, and conditions that promote sublimation and melt. They conclude with an overview on how complex mountain terrain impacts surface hoar formation.

Stay tuned for Parts 2 and 3, which will be released on Powder Cloud in the next week. 

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