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

Wednsday, MARCH 13, 2002 12:30 PM

 

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Good afternoon, this is Tom Kimbrough with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.Today is Wednesday, March 13, 2002, and itís12:30 p.m.

 

The annual Banff Mountain Film Festival is tonight at the U of Uís Kingsbury Hall at 7pm.You can get tickets for tonightís showing at Kingsbury Hall, Art-Tix, the University of Utahís Outdoor Program (581-8516), and REI (486-2100).This is a benefit for the Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center.

 

Current Conditions:

Snow has been coming down quite hard in the Salt Lake and Park City Mountains this morning.Snowfall rates have been several inches per hour since daylight. Upper Little Cottonwood has picked up about a foot of new this morning, with almost an inch of water weight.Storm totals are getting close to 2 feet.As the flow has still not shifted to the northwest, the Park City side of the range is also getting equivalent amounts.Snowfall has tapered off in the Ogden area and the Provo mountains still only have about 6 inches new.

 

Avalanche Conditions:

The avalanche danger is again on the rise.We have issued an avalanche warning for the Wasatch Mountains north of I-80 into southeast Idaho.The mountains near Logan have about 2 feet of new snow, with more on the way and the avalanche danger is HIGH in the Logan area.

 

For most of the morning, the snow was falling without much wind but in the last couple of hours, wind speeds have increased and the copious amounts of new snow are drifting rapidly, especially along the higher ridges.Before the winds increased, the snow was moving easily as large loose sluffs on steep slopes but drifts are now forming up to a couple of feet in depth, breaking with slope cuts and running far and fast.††

 

Although most of the avalanche activity this morning has been in the new snow, one slide from control work in the Ogden Mountains broke up to 4 feet deep, into old snow.If accumulations keep adding up at the present rate, natural avalanches will become more likely and some may break into deeper layers.

 

If places like the Provo area, Western Uintas and Wasatch Plateau, where the snow is thinner and less strong, start to get heavy snow, the avalanche danger there will rise quickly.

Bottom Line:

The avalanche danger is CONSIDERABLE today on slopes steeper than about 35 degrees, especially in wind drifted areas.Human triggered avalanches are likely and natural avalanches possible.The danger may rise to HIGH later this afternoon if heavy snow and strong winds continue.

 

(Provo Area Mountains, Western Uinta Mountains and Manti-Skyline)

These areas have had a thin snowpack most of the winter and sugary weak snow is more widespread.The danger of human triggered avalanches is CONSIDERABLE in the Provo, Western Uinta Mountains and the Manti-Skyline and may become HIGH, especially on wind drifted slopes, as accumulations build.

 

(Ogden Area Mountains)

With 12 to 18 inches of new snow overnight in the Ogden Mountains, the danger is CONSIDERABLE.

 

Mountain Weather:

Although a surface front passed though northern Utah early this morning, the upper air flow is still from the southwest.Temperatures have cooled enough to drop the snow level to near the valley floor.Colder and more unstable air is approaching from Idaho and coupled with another impulse arriving from California, this could keep snow going in the mountains, especially the Cottonwoods and perhaps in the Provo area, through the night.We expect snowfall rates to decrease some on the Park City side of the range by mid afternoon.Storm totals by Thursday morning could be 2 to 3 feet south of I-80.Temperatures will drop into the low teens tonight.Winds will be 10 to 20 mph, shifting to the northwest.Snow showers could continue into Thursday with partly cloudy skies for Friday and yet another storm on Saturday.

 

General Information:

Wasatch Powderbird Guides will not be flying today.For more information call 521-6040 ext. 5280.

 

On a very special note, Drew Hardesty and his wife Hilary are proud new parents of a baby boy.Rumor has it mother and baby are doing well, but father is still recovering.

 

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], or you can fax an observation to 801-524-6301.

 

For more detailed mountain weather and avalanche information, your can call 801-364-1591, which weíll try to have updated by around noon each day.

 

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.

 

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

Thanks for calling!

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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:

http://www.avalanche.org/usdanger.htm