11th Annual Utah Snow & Avalanche Workshop Open and Motorized Sessions Oct. 27th.
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Date: 
Tuesday, January 2, 2018
Size: 
2
Description: 

Persistent weak layers can produce avalanches for days, or even weeks after a storm. Generally speaking, the snowpack has relaxed and we are entering a low probability high consequence situation where It is still possible to trigger a dangerous avalanche on a buried weak layer of loose, faceted snow. Avalanches released on such a buried weak layer would be 1-2' deep and up to 100-200' wide. You are most likely to encounter this situation on slopes steeper than 35 degrees that face NW-N-E. 

If you do venture onto steep north through easterly facing slopes, consider the consequences if the slope does slide – will you be dragged through trees or over a cliff?  Or is it a broad, open slope with no terrain trap at the bottom?  Are your partners ready to perform a rescue?

Type: 
Persistent Weak Layer
Current Conditions: 

Skies are clear this morning and 9000' temps are in the low 20's. Westerly ridgetop winds overnight averaged 10 mph gusting to 15 mph. Higher speeds were recorded on Mount Ogden with averages in the low 20's, gusting to 30. They shifted to the NE around 3:00 a.m.

Snow conditions are a classic mixed bag of old, tired snow with melt freeze crusts and damp snow on sun exposed slopes, wind affected snow on exposed northerly aspects, and settled dense loose and near surface facets forming on sheltered northerly aspects.

Snow depths are still quite low with the deepest snow found in the northern zones around Monte Cristo, and obstacles lurking beneath the surface continue to pose a hazard.

  • Monte Cristo 34" (8931')
  • Ben Lomond 16" (7688')
  • Farmington 26" (7901')

 

 

Recent Activity: 

It has been several days since any new avalanche activity has been reported though there were some close calls after the Christmas storm. See the avalanche list here.  Recent Ogden area mountain observations are here.

   

 

Mountain Weather: 

High pressure will strengthen through tomorrow, bringing sunny skies and balmy temperatures to the mountains.  Temperatures today will warm into the mid 30s to near 40, before dropping into the upper teens and low twenties again tonight. The northwesterly winds are at their strongest this morning – 15 to 25 mph, but will shift to the northeast and gradually decrease into the 5 to 15 mph range by evening. There is a glimmer of hope for that a small storm will break through the ridge this weekend, producing a little mountain snow. 

 

 

 

Bottom Line: 

The Avalanche Danger is MODERATE on steep, mid and upper elevation slopes facing northerly through easterly.   Large avalanches can still be triggered in isolated areas.  While the chance of triggering a slide has decreased, the size has not – the avalanche would be 1 to 2 feet deep and up to 200’ wide, failing on loose, sugary, faceted snow. 

Safer terrain can be found on slopes less steep than about 30 degrees, which are not below steeper terrain, such as meadows and rolling, low angle terrain.

 

 
Size: 
2
Size: 
2
Likelihood: 
2
Likelihood: 
1
Likelihood: 
2
General Announcements: 

FOR MORE GENERAL INFORMATION AND FAQ, CLICK HERE

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This information does not apply to developed ski areas or highways where avalanche control is normally done. This advisory is from the U.S.D.A. Forest Service, which is solely responsible for its content. This advisory describes general avalanche conditions and local variations always occur.

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