Wasatch Cache National Forest

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Avalanche advisory

TUesday, MARCH 26, 2002 07:30 AM



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Good morning, this is Drew Hardesty with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Today is Tuesday, March 26, 2002, and it’s 7:30 a.m.


Current Conditions:

Under partly cloudy skies last night, mountain temperatures dropped into the low teens, while winds remained generally light and out of the west.  Yesterday’s snow showers added up to about 4-5” in some locations, and it looks like most places across the range received at least a couple of inches.   Today looks to be partly cloudy with light west and southwesterly winds.  8000’ highs today are expected to reach past 40 degrees.  Snow surface conditions range from punchy, inverted powder, to areas with zipper crust to sloppy down low. 


Avalanche Conditions:

Avalanche activity yesterday was confined to both natural and human triggered loose snow avalanches on steep slopes on all aspects.  Some of these were reportedly running pretty far, where they could easily carry a person over cliffbands or into trees.  My major concern today, however, will be avalanches from daytime heating and, under partly cloudy skies, direct shortwave radiation.  As the snow from the last two days is still “upside down”, it may not take a lot of warmth and heating for them to become reactive.  Rocky outcrops, cliffbands, and trees also tend to channel heat well – take time today to be aware of how the snow is reacting to today’s weather.  Wet activity may be a problem on the sunny aspects and at the mid and lower elevations on the shady side.  Once the snow starts to get wet and mushy, it might be time to get off of and out from underneath steep slopes.  


Bottom Line: 

The avalanche danger is MODERATE on slopes steeper than about 35 degrees.  As temperatures reach their daytime highs, the danger may rise to CONSIDERABLE.  There remains a MODERATE danger of triggering a deep, dangerous hard slab avalanche in steep terrain, especially in thinner snowpack areas. 


(Ogden Area and Western Uinta Mountains)

Same as Salt Lake Mountains.  


(Provo Area Mountains)

Same as Salt Lake Mountains.


Mountain Weather:

We’ll have partly cloudy skies and warmer temperatures today, with 8000’ highs reaching just over 40 degrees.  10,000’ temperatures will be in the low 20’s.  Winds will remain light and westerly.  Temperatures should gradually increase during the week with high pressure the main feature for the weekend and next week.  Looks like we’ll be skiing and riding corn before long.


General Information:

Wasatch Powderbird Guides will be flying in the Silver, Day’s, Cardiff, and Mineral Fork drainages of Big Cottonwood Canyon, with a home run out Grizzly Gulch.  For more information call 521-6040 ext. 5280.


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.


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. 


Ethan Greene will update this advisory by 7:30 Wednesday 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: