We observed obvious signs of recent wind-loading and slab formation in middle and upper elevation terrain. There was enough wind-drifted snow to keep us out of a fair bit of terrain. The sun popped in and out but had not initiated any loose snow avalanches as of 3:00 PM.
It was mostly cloudy although the sun popped through as the clouds sped by. Cold, moderate NW wind. Obvious flagging in the Smokys in the AM and "snow devils" later in the day. The sun moistened the surface enough on some slopes for a thin crust tomorrow.
I had short-lived but decent views into the Boulders and portions of the Smokys. I did not see any obvious large avalanches.
NE @ 9,000': We only looked at the upper ~90 cm. ECTNs (1 & 2 taps) on the storm interface down 15 cm. ECTN19, 20 over a crust down 45 cm. Percolation columns were numerous and thick, moving water deep into the mostly faceted upper 3' of the snowpack.
Layer Depth/Date: 30-60 cm
Comments: Obvious wind affects above about 9,000' in this area. See photos, video. We got the impression that these slabs would heal fairly quickly, given the warm start to the storm and rough interfaces.
We actively looked for and avoided wind slabs. We skied steep slopes that were scoured or where the recent drifts were thin.