Wasatch Cache National Forest

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Avalanche advisory

Sunday, April 7, 2002 07:30 AM



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Good morning, this is Evelyn Lees with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory. Today is Sunday, April 7, 2002, and its 7:30 a.m.


Current Conditions:

The cool air finally straggled into town yesterday evening, dragging a few clouds with it, but no snow. Overnight temperatures in the mountains are below freezing, currently in the upper 20s at most elevations. Combined with mostly clear skies, there should be a decent surface refreeze this morning, over a mostly loose and damp mid pack. Ridge top winds are light, averaging 10 to 15 mph from the northwest.


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:

With the cool air behind schedule yesterday and often no more than thin clouds, the wet slide cycle continued, with several decent wet loose slides being reported. Mid elevation, northerly facing slopes were the most active, and once again debris piles were impressively deep from even small wet sluffs.


While last nights cold temperatures will have given the surface snow a good refreeze, they will not have reached the mid and deeper snowpack. These layers will remain damp, loose and weak. Todays direct sun and warming temperatures will rapidly soften the surface crusts. So the usual spring time early starts and early finishes are advised. When the snow crusts soften, its time to get off of and out from under steep slopes. Either change to a cooler aspect or choose another sport for the rest of the day.


There is still a chance of deep slab avalanches that may release naturally or be triggered by smaller wet sluffs. This years snow pack contains some very weak layers that formed in January, and is unusually susceptible to this type of slide. While there are only isolated places where these deep avalanches could occur today, the slides would be large and dangerous. Avalanche activity would be most likely on and below steep rocky areas, especially where glide cracks are visible.


Bottom Line:

The avalanche danger is MODERATE on and below all steep snow covered slopes today. Both human triggered avalanches and natural avalanches possible. There remains a danger of full depth avalanches releasing naturally, especially in very steep rocky terrain.


(Ogden Area and Western Uinta Mountains)

Same as Salt Lake Mountains.


(Provo Area Mountains)

Same as Salt Lake Mountains.


Mountain Weather:

A drying northwest flow will remain over northern Utah into Monday morning. Mostly sunny skies today, with highs in the mid 40s at 8,000 and near 30 at 10,000. Winds will remain from the northwest, 10 to 20 mph along the higher ridges. Mostly clear skies tonight, with lows 20 to 25. Sunny and slightly warmer on Monday. A Pacific trough should reach Utah mid week, bringing unsettled weather through next weekend.


General 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. We have a new avalanche and backcountry observation page that wed 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.


Drew Hardesty will update this advisory by 7:30 on Monday 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: