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

FRIday, April 5, 2002 07:30 AM

 

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Good morning, this is Tom Kimbrough with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.Today is Friday, April 5, 2002, and itís 7:30 a.m.

 

Current Conditions:

Temperatures remained above freezing at most mountain locations overnight.Although some mountain valley bottoms cooled to about 30 degrees, on the slopes temperatures are in the upper thirties and lower forties.Skies were mostly clear for much of the night so the snow pack has probably set up a little in most places but crusts will be thin and will soften quickly. Winds are light from the southwest.

 

We are doing an early morning corn report on the (801) 364-1581 line by 6:00 am for the rest of the season.

 

Avalanche Conditions:

Without a solid overnight freeze, the snow pack will quickly lose strength and the danger of human triggered and natural wet surface slides will rise rapidly this morning.If you havenít worked on your taxes yet, this is the day to do it.On Tuesday, a person was on a steep east facing slope at Solitude too late in the day and triggered a loose wet snow slide at about 12:45.While only about 100í wide, the debris piled up over 7 feet deep in places.This type of avalanche may occur much earlier this morning.Potentially even more dangerous are full depth wet slab avalanches that may release naturally.These can be massive, catastrophic events.This yearís snow pack, containing some very weak layers that formed in January, is unusually susceptible to this type of slide.Some of these avalanches have already pulled out around the range and more are sure to follow. While the timing of this type of slide is less predictable than we would like, watching overnight lows and early starts and finishes can give you a fair amount of protection. Periods without overnight freezes, such as last night, make these very dangerous avalanches more likely.There is also a slight chance of triggering a large slide in dry snow on that January weak layer, especially on a very steep slope in shallow snow pack areas.

 

If you have already finished your taxes and your boss doesnít want to see your face today and you feel you really need to head into the backcountry, go early, donít spend time underneath steep slopes and donít stay out long.

 

Bottom Line:

The avalanche danger is MODERATE on all steep snow covered slopes this morning.The danger will increase to CONSIDERABLE by late morning.Human triggered avalanches are likely and natural avalanches possible.There is a danger of very large full depth avalanches releasing naturally, especially in very steep rocky terrain.While this danger increases with rising temperatures, it is not limited to the warmer parts of day.

 

(Ogden Area and Western Uinta Mountains)

Same as Salt Lake Mountains.††

 

(Provo Area Mountains)

Same as Salt Lake Mountains.

 

Mountain Weather:

Yesterday winds shifted to the southwest, heralding a change in the weather pattern.Warm air has moved in overnight, ahead of a couple of weak disturbances that will affect our weather over the weekend.Skies will be partly cloudy today with a slight chance of a mountain shower this afternoon.Highs today will be in the fifties at 8,000 feet and in the forties at 10,000.Winds will be light from the southwest.A weak cold front will arrive Saturday morning with a few inches of new snow in the mountains.The rest of the weekend will continue unsettled with colder temperatures and occasional snow showers.High pressure returns for Monday and Tuesday.

 

General Information:

Wasatch Powderbird Guides are done for the season.

 

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.We have a new avalanche and backcountry observation page that weíd like to encourage folks to try out.It can be found on our home website at avalanche.org.You can also 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.

 

Evelyn Lees will update this advisory by 7:30 on Saturday 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