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 Ethan Greene with the
The mountains picked up about two inches of new snow yesterday and another inch overnight. Last night under mostly cloudy skies temperatures dropped into the low teens at 8,000’ and to about 10 degrees at 10,000’. Winds have been in the 5 to 10 mph range from the west and southwest.
The snow surface is almost supportable and covered with soft powder snow. You can still break through into weaker snow if you’re not gentle on your skis or snowmobile. Some south facing slopes below 9,500’ have a thin surface crust from a few days ago.
Today is the first day of
winter, and I am glad that it is finally here!
The solstice has brought us both good and bad news, and the good news is
that cool temperatures and snow flurries today will make it feel like winter in
the mountains. The bad news is that our
latest avalanche cycle is far from over.
Yesterday there were two human triggered avalanches reported from the
Since last Tuesday there has been at least one human triggered avalanche reported each day. Like the two from yesterday, many of these slides have been remotely triggered. Nearly all of these avalanches have been breaking on a well developed layer of faceted or sugary snow that formed during our long dry spell. Although the snowpack is adjusting to the new-snow load from last week, it remains quite sensitive. Faceted weak layers often allow you to travel on a slope until you hit just the right spot and trigger a large avalanche. Thus far the avalanche activity has been on west through north, and north through east facing slopes steeper than about 35 degrees. Traveling in areas that have already slid is generally a good idea, but keep in mind that many of the recent avalanches broke mid-path leaving large chunks of snow in the starting zone. In these areas it is still possible to trigger a dangerous avalanche.
Bottom Line (SLC,
The avalanche danger is CONSIDERABLE today on west through north, and north through east facing slopes steeper than about 35 degrees. On south facing slopes and slopes in the 30 degree range the avalanche danger is generally MODERATE. Backcountry travelers should still avoid traveling under steep slopes or in gullies and other terrain traps.
An upper level low, currently
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.
I will update this advisory by on Monday morning.
Thanks for calling!
For an explanation of avalanche danger ratings: