Forecast for the Provo Area Mountains

Issued by Evelyn Lees for Monday, November 27, 2017 - 8:11pm

The avalanche hazard is LOW. It might be possible to trigger a few shallow sluffs in wind drifted areas. On upper elevation northwest through northeast aspects, weak faceted snow near the ground creates an isolated persistent slab hazard. Remember - a low avalanche hazard doesn't mean no avalanches.

We will continue with intermittent advisories until we begin to receive more snow.

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Support the UAC when you shop Whole Foods Market at Trolley Square, Sugarhouse, and Cottonwood Heights. Between now and Jan 11th, Whole Foods will donate a dime per bag to Utah Avalanche Center when you shop there and donate your bag credit during check out.

See below or the YouTube link to see a review of what's going on with our snowpack and our current avalanche concerns. Special thanks to Steve Lloyd for this project.

Unopened ski area terrain has a backcountry snowpack, as avalanche mitigation work has not been done. Each resort has different uphill travel policies - please abide by signage and closures and check in with the local ski patrol.

Weather and Snow

The "storm" was basically a non-event. Scouring the remote weather stations, I was hard pressed to find an inch of snow in the mountains, resulting in dust on crust conditions. On the plus side, temperatures have plummeted from the 50s into more wintery 20s and 30s. The strong, southwesterly winds that were averaging 30 to 40 mph Monday have switched to the northwest and decreased to less than 15 mph.

A rain event to 10,000' early last week, along with very warm temperatures over the Thanksgiving holiday, crusted most snow surfaces. These crusts will freeze solid, and "slide for life" conditions will exist on steep slopes. Southerly aspects have largely melted off, with patches of snow clinging to southeast and southwest aspects. Northerly aspects > 9000' hold about 18-24" of snow (red arrows)

Recent Avalanches

There has been no reported avalanche activity since Saturday Nov 18.

Recent observations from the central Wasatch:

Little Cottonwood Canyon (Alta) (Nov 26)

Big Cottonwood Canyon (Brighton) (Nov 25)

Little Cottonwood Canyon (Alta) (Nov 23)

Little Cottonwood Canyon (Alta) (Nov 23)

Avalanche Problem #1
Normal Caution

The snowpack is currently stable and avalanches are unlikely. However:, a few shallow sluffs could be triggered in wind drifted areas, running on the slick crusts. Although these would be quite shallow, even a short ride or slip on our thin snowpack will mean a ride over rocks and stumps.

Avalanche Problem #2
Persistent Weak Layer

Despite the very warm weather over the past several days, the weak, faceted snow at the bottom of our snowpack on upper elevation northwest through northeast aspects remains. This video from Thursday highlights this very weak snow:

Currently, these weaknesses are mostly dormant, and the likelihood of triggering one of these persistent slab avalanches is quite low. But persistent weaknesses will show their hand once again with new loading such as storm snow and/or wind deposited snow - perhaps with a storm next weekend.

Additional Information

Clouds will decrease overnight, with sunny skies and cooler temperatures expected by Tuesday. The next chance for any snow will be Wednesday, though much of the model guidance keeps this storm north of the area with only a few isolated showers possible for the Cottonwood/Provo Canyons. Another potential storm is in the computer models for this coming weekend, with a better chance for accumulating snow.

General Announcements

Remember your information can save lives. If you see anything we should know about, please help us out by submitting snow and avalanche conditions. You can also call us at 801-524-5304, email by clicking HERE, or include #utavy in your tweet or Instagram.

To get help in an emergency (to request a rescue) in the Wasatch, call 911. Be prepared to give your GPS coordinates or the run name. Dispatchers have a copy of the Wasatch Backcountry Ski map.

Backcountry Emergencies. It outlines your step-by-step method in the event of a winter backcountry incident.

If you trigger an avalanche in the backcountry, but no one is hurt and you do not need assistance, please notify the nearest ski area dispatch to avoid a needless response by rescue teams. Thanks.

EMAIL ADVISORY If you would like to get the daily advisory by email you subscribe here.

DAWN PATROL Hotline updated daily by 5-530am - 888-999-4019 option 8.

TWITTER Updates for your mobile phone - DETAILS

UDOT canyon closures: LINK TO UDOT, or on Twitter, follow @UDOTavy, @CanyonAlerts or @AltaCentral

Utah Avalanche Center mobile app - Get your advisory on your iPhone along with great navigation and rescue tools.

Powderbird Helicopter Skiing - Blog/itinerary for the day

Ski Utah mobile snow updates

To those skinning uphill at resorts: it is critical to know the resort policy on uphill travel. You can see the uphill travel policy for each resort 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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