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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Good Morning.† This is Tom Kimbrough with the
More stormy weather is headed
our way this morning.† Although it looks
like the major thrust of the current storm will miss the Wasa
Again yesterday there were plenty of avalanches, both from control work and human triggered.† The layer these slides are releasing on is called faceted snow.† It was formed during the long dry spell and produces notoriously long lasting and persistent instabilities. †As we go into the weekend, donít expect the backcountry conditions to get safer and indeed, with todayís wind and new snow, we will bump right back up to HIGH danger in some areas. †There were many reports of widespread cracking and collapsing in the backcountry yesterday plus quite a few remotely triggered slides and a couple of people caught but not completely buried or hurt. †A party on the north side of the ridge above Pole Line Pass between Big and Little Cottonwood remotely triggered a slide that ran over a couple of guys on the opposite side of the ridge.†
The one saving grace to our
situation is that many slopes avalanched naturally during the storm but, as
usual, there are a couple of ca
Another tip is that southerly
facing slopes have had little or no avalanche activity because areas that were
largely bare a week ago donít have the underlying weak layers.† The ca
There have been plenty of slides on shady, mid and lower elevation slopes, where the weak facets were well preserved in wind sheltered areas.† These slides are generally smaller in width, but still 1-2 feet deep, and large enough to get a person in trouble, especially if the snow piles up in a terrain trap such as a gully bottom or road cut.† In all areas, collapsing and cracking are clues to the instability.
I am getting reports indicating that this morningís winds are getting down into mid and †lower elevation terrain as well as along the high peaks and ridges.† With literally tons of light snow lying around, these winds will quickly increase the avalanche danger on all wind affected steep slopes.
Bottom Line (SLC, Park City, Ogden and Provo Area Mountains):
The avalanche danger is HIGH today on all steep slopes with wind drifted snow.† Out of wind affected terrain the danger is CONSIDERABLE on west, north and east facing slopes above about 7,000í.† Human triggered avalanches are probable, and natural avalanches are possible.
Although this doesnít look like another big storm the Wasatch should still get several inches of new snow today.† Winds will be strong, 20 to 30 mph with stronger gusts through mid day, decreasing this afternoon.† Highs today will be in the lower twenties at 8,000 feet and in the teens at 10,000.† The weather will continue unsettled through the weekend with additional snow and wind likely.
The Friends of the
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 by on Saturday morning.
Thanks for calling!
For an explanation of avalanche danger ratings: