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 Evelyn Lees with the
Itís been a blustery night in the mountains, and a disappointingly dry one, too, with not a flake of snow to report as of .† But the barometer is falling, and light snowfall should begin later this morning.† The winds have been blowing steadily from the south for over 24 hours, in the 15 to 20 mph range.† Along the highest ridgelines, speeds have been a nearly continuous 30 to 40 mph, with gusts over 60. Temperatures are in the upper teens to low 20ís this morning.†† The recent warm temperatures and winds have created a dense, punchy, surface snow layer, and turning and riding conditions are tricky on all but the most sheltered shady slopes.
The moderate to strong winds have created plenty of new wind drifts, especially on northwest through east facing slopes at the mid and upper elevations.† In addition to being in the usual places along the ridges, the strong winds also drifted snow lower down on slopes, around sub ridges, gully walls, and steep breakovers. †These new wind drifts are sitting on weak snow, but due to the warm temperatures, they are dense and stubborn.† These harder wind slabs have the potential to let you get well out on to them before breaking above you.† Avoiding them will become trickier later today when they are hidden by the new snow.†
The persistent problem of the more deeply buried faceted weak layers has not gone away, and triggering one of these deeper avalanches may be even easier today in newly wind loaded areas.† Many of the slopes that avalanched last week have the weakest snow, and could slide again.† The best way to avoid triggering one of these deeper, larger slides is to stick to slopes that face the south half of the compass, which are much more stable, or if you are getting onto northerly facing slopes, to stay off of and out from under slopes approaching 35 degrees or steeper.
Many of the ice climbs in the
Bottom Line (SLC,
The avalanche danger is CONSIDERABLE today on northwest, north, northeast and east facing slopes of about 35 degrees or steeper and on any steep slope with recent wind drifts at upper elevations, above about 9,000í. †CONSIDERABLE means human triggered slides are probable and natural avalanche possible.† There is a MODERATE danger at mid elevations on these same steep shady or wind drifted slopes.†
The approaching storm system is
starting to look fragmented, with the first piece reaching northern
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 Monday morning.
Thanks for calling!
For an explanation of avalanche danger ratings: