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

Monday, November 18, 2002


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Good morning, this is Bruce Tremper with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory for the Wasatch Range near Salt Lake City.Today is Monday, November 18, 2002, and itís 7:30 am.


Current Conditions:

This past weekend, a lot of people got out and enjoyed the mountains.Many of the popular slopes in the Salt Lake area-mountains are now fairly well tracked up.The northwest, north, northeast and east facing slopes have surprisingly nice, soft, recrystallized snow, if you donít mind hitting an occasional rock in about two feet of total snow.The sunny aspects are sun crusted and the upper elevation ridges have some hard wind slabs on them.Last night, with the passage of a dry cold front, some stiff winds blew along the upper elevation ridges with hourly averages 30-46 and gusts to as high as 68 mph.†† Temperatures this morning along the ridges are 10-15 degrees.


Avalanche Conditions:

Itís been a week since weíve had any significant loading of new or wind blown snow and the snowpack is feeling kind of like a limp rubber band. Snow is a lot like people, in that it doesnít like rapid changes and with not much going on with the weather this past week, the snowpack has gotten lazy as well--kind of like a sleeping cat draped over the back of the couch.It has been several days since weíve had any avalanches and the instability has slowly crept back to mostly low danger with a few places I might still call moderate dangerómeaning that there are only localized places where you might be able to trigger an avalanche. Today, the largest danger will probably be the fresh wind drifts, which you will find mostly along the upper elevation ridges.They look smooth and rounded and could range from being soft to hard and they often sound hollow like a drum.


Bottom Line (SLC and Provo area mountains):

The avalanche danger is MODERATE today on any slope of 35 degrees or steeper that have recent deposits of wind blown snow and there may also be some pockets of lingering instability above about 9,000 feet on northeast, north and northwest facing slopes, 35 degrees and steeper.On other slopes the avalanche danger is generally LOW.††


Logan and Ogden area mountains:

Mostly LOW danger except MODERATE danger on steep slopes with recent wind drifts.


Mountain Weather:

Itís getting more and more depressing to look at the weather forecasts.I hope the computer models are wrong because they donít show any significant snow in the forecast until at least December and even then, itís not much.The nicest thing about the recent weather is the big, fat beautiful full moon in the sky this morning and tonight along with warm temperatures. Today 8,000í temperatures should be near freezing and overnight lows down around 15 degrees with partly cloudy skies.Ridgetop temperatures should be warm up to around 25 degrees with ridgetop winds from the southwest around 10-15 mph.Looks like a wimpy brush-by to the north of us on Tuesday night which will probably give us a few clouds but not much else.After that, it looks like at least a week to get caught up on computer work.


General Information:

For a complete list of evening talks and multi-day classes, visit www.avalanche.org and click on Salt Lake and then Education.


To report backcountry snow and avalanche conditions, especially if you observe or trigger an avalanche, call (801) 524-5304 or 1-800-662-4140, or email to [email protected] or fax 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.


I will update this advisory by 7:30 on Tuesday morning.


Thanks for calling!



National Weather Service - Salt Lake City - Snow.

For an explanation of avalanche danger ratings: