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

Tuesday, April 9, 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, April 9, 2002, and it’s 7:30 a.m.


Current Conditions:

Under a mild southwest flow, temperatures in the mountains overnight were in the upper twenties and low thirties.  With clear skies, we did get at least a marginal refreeze of the snowpack overnight.  Winds have been in the 15-20 mph range.  The clear skies this morning should give way to mid and upper level cloud cover throughout the day.   Surface crusts will soften with daytime highs in the 50’s at 8000’.  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:

While the increasing cloud cover may stave off the direct shortwave heating of the snowpack, the warm daytime highs and the potential for some greenhousing will soften things up during the day.  It may be a guessing game at the highest elevations if you’re out and about, but the low and mid-elevations will likely go from soft to sloppy by late afternoon.  Remember, when you’re sinking in to your boot-tops or augering in with your sled, it’s time to change your aspect or head off to the house.  Below the refreeze at the low and mid-elevations on the northern exposures, the snow remains damp, loose, and generally unsupportable.  On Sunday, heavy explosive control work at the Canyons pulled out three wet slabs, with some running to the ground.  All were on the north facing ski runs on the lower mountain below 8000’.  One wet debris pile was reported to be 25’ deep, damming a creek in Willow draw.   Photos can be found on our website, by clicking on the link above.


While there are only isolated places where deep slab 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.  Full depth glide cracks have been observed in upper Stairs and Broad’s Fork where the snow is underlain by smooth, rocky slabs. 


Bottom Line: 

The avalanche danger is LOW this morning, increasing to MODERATE by afternoon with daytime heating.  Both human triggered avalanches and natural avalanches will be possible. 


(Ogden Area and Western Uinta Mountains)

Same as Salt Lake Mountains.  


(Provo Area Mountains)

Same as Salt Lake Mountains.


Mountain Weather:

We’ll see an increase in cirrus and mid-level clouds today ahead of tomorrow’s weak storm system.  Winds will remain out of the southwest in the 10-20 mph range.  Highs today will be near 50 at 8000’ and in the low 30’s at 10,000’.  Tomorrow’s system will shower the mountains with a projected rain/snow line starting at 8000’, lowering throughout the day.  Up to 6” may be possible at the highest elevations.  Drying Thursday into the 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 we’d 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. 


Bruce Tremper 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: