Center for Snow and Avalanche Studies

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St. Paul RF Base Station

The Center for Snow & Avalanche Studies serves the mountain science community and regional resource managers by hosting & conducting interdisciplinary research and conducting integrative 24/7/365 monitoring that captures weather, snowpack, radiation, soils, plant community and hydrologic signals of regional climate trends.

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CSAS News: Jan 2010

Sequence of January 2010 Storms Shut In Silverton

Town Hall after the storms, and the Arcade avalanche path
in the distance, on Kendall Mountain, sporting a large,
fresh fracture line at timberline.
Town Hall in Silverton after January 2010 Storms
As happens at least a few times each winter, Silvertonians coped with (even reveled in) being “cut off” from our nearest neighboring towns by a series of three back-to-back storms on January 17th through 24th and the resulting natural and explosively triggered avalanches. US Highway 550 was closed in both directions for over 40 hours, to the north and south, and all County roads leading out of town were also closed for a day, thwarting those few powder hounds who had made it into town before the passes closed and anxious to ski the steep and deep at Silverton Mountain ski area.  Even our small ski hill in town, at Kendall Mountain, had to suspend operations for the day.  Roofs in town were producing significant avalanches as well, and the superbly efficient Public Works crew had their hands full keeping the streets open, stockpiling enormous amounts of snow down the center of Greene Street, the main drag, for future removal.  This series of storms was comparatively wind-free, a welcome feature given memories of the ferocious storms and blowing snow of 2008/2009.

snow of roofs
A post-storm inspection found 2’ to 3’ foot avalanche fracture lines on roofs throughout town.  Roofs in nearby Durango, which received even more snow than Silverton, were stressed to the brink and beyond.

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