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 Bruce Tremper with the
Itís the day before Christmas, and all through the week,
Slides crashed down everywhere, with all looking bleak.
Well, I would like to do our traditional day-before-Christmas poem, but the current conditions are too complicated and scary to describe with prose much less verse, so Iíll spare you the pain this year.
It was a cold day yesterday with ridge top temperatures 5-10 degrees and itís about the same temperature this morning.† Yesterday morning some strong winds blew from the east 25-30, gusting to near 40, which created yet more wind damage and wind slabs above tree line, making the snow punchy, tricky and avalanche-prone.† The sun and wind sheltered slopes continue to be nice powder and thereís a bit of a sun crust on slopes facing the south half of the compass.
wanting to drop the danger down to moderate from considerable, but every
day, thereís clear evidence that the snowpack is taking its sweet time to
stabilize.† It took a month to form this
astoundingly weak layer, so we canít be too impatient.† Since the storm, a week ago there have been at
least 25-30 unintentional human triggered avalanches in the backcountry--which
we know of.† This is the first day in a
week that we havenít heard about a human triggered avalanche.† But, alas, yesterday, a natural avalanche
occurred in the backcountry adjacent to Snowbasin Ė a 4-5 feet deep hard slab
that ran full path.† Also, yesterday
traveling around, myself and many others still feel these giant booming
collapses of the snowpack in large areas that shake the trees.† The columns in our snowpits continue to be
difficult to isolate or fail with wimpy little wrist-taps.† Plus thereís the pucker factor.† All the old pros in the Wasa
Itís not scary
everywhere.† Most of the slopes which
face the south half of the compass are fairly stable, with the exception of
recent wind drifts.† However, any slope
that faces the north half of the compass, plus on east facing slopes, you just
need to continue to carefully wa
Bottom Line (SLC,
The avalanche danger is CONSIDERABLE today on any slope facing the north half of the compass, and on east facing slopes, approaching 35 degrees or steeper, and also on any slope with recent wind drifts.† On southerly facing slopes and slopes less than about 30 degrees, avalanche danger is generally LOW.†
Today should be another day kind of like yesterday with scattered high clouds and cold temperatures.† Ridge top winds should remain light from the west and south.† Ridge top temperatures should be around 5 degrees today with 8,000í temperatures in the 20ís with overnight lows in the teens.† Christmas Day should be mostly cloudy with moisture coming over the top of a weak ridge with continued cold temperatures.† We may get a few light snow showers on Thursday and then it looks like a stronger storm for the weekend.
Today the Wasa
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.
Ethan Greene will update this advisory by on Christmas morning.
Thanks for calling!
For an explanation of avalanche danger ratings: