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


               The Utah Avalanche Center Home page is: http://www.avalanche.org/~uac/


Avalanche advisory

Saturday, December 7, 2002

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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 Saturday, December 7, 2002.


Current Conditions:

While we’re waiting for Old Man Winter to reappear, we have gone to daily afternoon updates on the phone lines and internet.


Under partly cloudy skies, ridge top winds are light and variable, generally less than 10 mph.   Temperatures dropped into the low to mid 20’s last night after yesterday’s highs in the mid to upper 30’s.


The recent warm and sunny weather has melted most of the snow off southerly and westerly facing slopes.  On the shady northwest, north and northeast facing slopes above about 9,000’ there are patches of soft recrystalized snow.  There are a few places in these areas where you can find supportable snow with decent turning conditions.  But our snow pack is pathetically thin, and in rocky or treed areas off trail travel can be a high risk adventure.  Snowmobiling is limited to mid and upper elevation roads and trails.


Avalanche Conditions:

There are almost no avalanche problems at this time.  However, it is possible to start shallow, loose snow sluffs on steep shady slopes which might knock you off your feet for a rough ride.  These same areas, where there is lots of loose sugar snow, will be very dangerous when a storm finally arrives.  Until then, practice with your avalanche beacon; when the weather changes it is going to be scary out there.


Bottom Line (SLC, Ogden, and Provo Area Mountains):

The avalanche danger is generally LOW today.


Mountain Weather:

A ridge of high pressure continues to dominate our weather pattern with a series of weak lows forecast to roll under the ridge this week.  The first, passing to our south today, will produce some mid and high level clouds this morning, but by afternoon skies should be mostly sunny.  Dry and sunny on Sunday and Monday.  Then two more weak systems will move into the area Monday and Tuesday nights.  Unless we get a direct hit from one of these small systems, the most we can expect is clouds and a slight cooling of temperatures.


For today, temperatures will rise into the mid thirties at 8,000 feet and mid 20’s at 10,000.  The northerly winds will be very light over the ridges, less than 10 mph.  Expect overnight lows in the teens and highs Sunday in the thirties. 


General Information:


A great Christmas present for someone you love is an avalanche beacon.  To help you decide which one to buy, we have posted a couple recent tests of various brands of avalanche beacons on the web.  Point your browser to www.avalanche.org and click on Salt Lake, then on Education.  At the same location, you can find a complete list of avalanche talks and multi-day classes. 


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.


Bruce Tremper will update this advisory on Sunday.


Thanks for calling!




National Weather Service - Salt Lake City - Snow.

For an explanation of avalanche danger ratings: