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

SUnDAY, April 14, 2002   02:00 pM



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Good afternoon, this is Ethan Greene with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Today is Sunday, April 14, 2002, and it’s 2:00 p.m.


Current Conditions:

Last night was a warm one with low temperatures in the low 30’s at 8,000’ and in the mid 30’s at 11,000’.  Southwest winds have been blowing in the 25 mph range along the ridgelines, but below about 8,000’ the winds are fairly calm.  With partly to mostly cloudy skies and warm temperatures there was only a shallow refreeze last night, and today the snow heated up quickly today. 


Tonight should be similar to last night.  Low temperatures are forecast to be in the upper 30’s in many mountain locations.  Southwest winds should increase into the 30 mph range near midnight.  By Monday morning we will have had two nights without a freeze.


Avalanche Conditions:

There have been several significant avalanches reported in the last two days.  Yesterday there were three wet slides reported from the north side of Timpanogas.  These avalanches occurred around mid day, starting as point releases and fanning out to 100 to 200 feet wide by the time they reached the valley bottom.  One ran over 1000’ vertically pulling snow out to the ground and ripping out trees on the way down.  There were also two wet slab avalanches reported from the east facing rock slabs in Cardiff Fork.  These slides occurred before 2pm yesterday afternoon.  On Friday afternoon a large wet slab released in the Black Peal area of Little Cottonwood Canyon.  The avalanche most likely started on some rock slabs just down valley from Perla’s Ridge.


Monday will be a transitional day.  There is a very strong cold front forecast to arrive mid day.  After another night with no refreeze we could pick up a significant amount of snow Monday afternoon and evening.  The surge of cold air will reduce the wet slide potential and we will move back into the dry snow avalanche regime, but remember that putting cold snow onto a warm snow surface is a great way to produce a sensitive weak layer.  By Monday afternoon the snow could be falling at a fast and furious rate, the winds will be strong, and the avalanche danger will rise quickly.  Snow accumulations could be over 20” by Tuesday morning.


One thing to keep in mind tomorrow, and throughout the spring, is that the weak faceted snow that brought us many large and dangerous avalanches this season is still buried in the snowpack.  This layer could be reactivated by increased melt water from a sustained warm period, or by an increase in load from a large spring snow storm. 


Bottom Line: 

The avalanche center is closed for the season, but the potential for avalanches will remain until the snow melts.  During warm periods remember to start early, end early, and pay attention to the freezing levels.  We still have some nasty weak layers buried in the snowpack so even though it feels like spring, don’t forget to look at the world through your avalanche eyes.


(Ogden Area and Western Uinta Mountains)

Same as Salt Lake Mountains.  


(Provo Area Mountains)

Same as Salt Lake Mountains.


Mountain Weather:

Please check http://www.avalanche.org/~uac/snow_mtn.html for our last mountain weather forecast, and the National Weather Service for weather forecasts beyond April 14, 2002.


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. 


This is our last advisory for the season.  The staff of the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center would like to thank everyone used and supported this program, and we would like to extend a special thank you to all of the backcountry travelers and other avalanche workers that called in observations.  It has been a pleasure providing this service to you.  Have and great and safe spring and summer…we will see you in the fall!


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: