Wasatch Cache National Forest

In partnership with: The Friends of the Utah Avalanche Forecast Center, Utah Department of Public Safety Division of Comprehensive Emergency Management, Salt Lake County, and Utah State Parks


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Avalanche advisory

WEDNesday, FEBRUARY 13, 20024:00 PM



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Good afternoon, this is Ethan Greene with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.Today is Wednesday, February 13, 2002, and itís 4:00 p.m.


Current Conditions:

Today temperatures rose into the upper 30ís at 8,000í and mid 20ís at 10,000í.Winds were from the south most of the day in the 10 mph range.Within the last few hours the winds have veered to the west and are blowing in the 20 mph range with gusts over 40.


There are currently widespread areas of sun crusts and wind crusts or slabs in the backcountry, but dense, settled powder still exists on sheltered shady slopes.


Avalanche Conditions:

The backcountry snowpack has been stabilizing since last Fridayís wind event, with no activity to report since the weekend.Some fresh shallow slabs may have formed around the upper ridgelines from the recent northerly winds. Todayís moderate to strong winds moved a little snow around, however there is not much left to transport.

The faceted snow under a rain curst that formed in early January remains our lingering avalanche problem.This weak layer produced many deep hard slab avalanches, both natural and human triggered, during January and early February.This layer seems much less sensitive now, but could be reactivated by a very large trigger or an unwary winter traveler.The key to avoiding this lingering danger is to evaluate the stability of each slope before crossing it.


Bottom Line:†††††††††

The danger of human triggered avalanches is generally LOW throughout the Wasatch Range.However, on very steep upper elevation slopes the chance of triggering a dangerous hard slab avalanche remains MODERATE.While these slides can only be triggered in isolated areas, the consequences could be severe.


(Provo Area Mountains)

Mostly the same general conditions as in the SLC mountains.


(Ogden Area Mountains)

Mostly the same general conditions as in the SLC mountains.


Mountain Weather:

High clouds are increasing this afternoon at the next storm system approaches.This system will produce moderate to strong winds tonight and into tomorrow.Three to six inches of new snow are expected, depending on location, by mid day on Thursday.Overnight the winds will veer from the west to the northwest and stay in the 25 mph range.By tomorrow evening the winds will be from the northeast and drop into the 20 mph range.



During the Olympics, we will issue both morning and afternoon advisories.Weíll use the 364 -1591 line for more detailed or additional avalanche information.


To report backcountry snow and avalanche conditions, especially if you observe or trigger an avalanche, you can leave a message at (801) 524-5304 or 1-800-662-4140.Or you can e-mail an observation to [email protected] .org, or you can fax an observation to 801-524-6301.


Wasatch Powderbird Guides will not be flying for the next couple of weeks.


We have a new icon-based, short advisory posted each day at www.avalanche.org.We would appreciate any feedback on this new product.


The information in this advisory is from the U.S. Forest Service, which is solely responsible for its content.This advisory describes general avalanche conditions and local variations always occur.


Tom Kimbrough will update this advisory by 7:30 on Thursday morning.

 Thanks for calling!


For more detailed weather information go to our Mountain Weather Advisory

National Weather Service - Salt Lake City - Snow.

For an explanation of avalanche danger ratings: