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

Monday, January 20, 2003

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Good Morning. This is Ethan Greene with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory. Today is Monday, January 20, 2003, and its 7:30 in the morning.

 

This advisory is brought to you by the Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center, supported in part by Black Diamond Equipment.

 

Current Conditions:

Last night the skies were clear and temperatures dipped into the mid to upper 20s at both 8,000 and 10,000. In portions of the Ogden and Provo Mountains the temperatures remained in the 30s as high as 8,000. The winds have been from the west in the 10 to 20 mph range.

 

The snow surface is a mix of wind slabs and sun crusts. You can still find some soft recrystalized snow on northwest through east aspects that are sheltered from the wind.

 

Avalanche Conditions:

Strong winds last week formed hard slabs in the mid and high elevation areas, and they are sitting on weak faceted snow. Our current string of warm days has helped to stabilize these wind slabs, but the loose sugary snow underneath remains quite weak. As youre wondering around the backcountry today look out for smooth wind pillows. They may be quite hard and sound hollow as you walk across them. These slabs are still cracking and collapsing, and that tells me you could still trigger one on a steep slope.

 

Mountain temperatures remained quite warm overnight. With clear skies and moderate winds I suspect the snow surface is frozen this morning. However, temperatures should climb into the low 40s today, so keep an eye out for signs that the danger of wet avalanches is increasing. If you see roller balls or youre sinking into the wet snow more than about 6 inches its time to stay off of and out from under steep sun exposed slopes.

 

Bottom Line (SLC and Park City Area Mountains):

There is a MODERATE danger of triggering a wind slab avalanche on any steep wind loaded slope. Look out for these slabs on the sides of gullies and subridges as well as major terrain features. There is also still a MODERATE danger of triggering a deep slab avalanche on slopes steeper than about 40 degrees that face the northern half of the compass and are above about 8,500. On slopes less than about 35 degrees in steepness the avalanche danger is generally LOW.

 

Bottom Line (Ogden and Provo Area Mountains):

There is a MODERATE danger of triggering a wind slab avalanche on any steep wind loaded slope. Look out for these slabs on the sides of gullies and subridges as well as major terrain features. There is also still a MODERATE danger of triggering a deep slab avalanche on slopes steeper than about 40 degrees that face the northern half of the compass and are above about 8,500. The danger of wet slides may increase to MODERATE today on steep sun exposed slopes. On slopes less than about 35 degrees in steepness the avalanche danger is generally LOW.

 

Western Uintas call 1-800-648-7433 or click here for weekend and holiday forecasts.

 

Mountain Weather:

High pressure over the western U.S. should bring another beautiful day to the Wasatch. Today the skies will be mostly sunny and temperatures will rise into the low 40s at 8,000 and low 30s at 10,000. Winds will be from the west in the 10 to 20 mph range. Clouds will increase on Tuesday as a weak system approaches. Snow showers are possible Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.

 

General Information:

Wasatch Powderbird Guides will not be flying today.

 

The Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center, supported by Voile and Milosport, are offering a three-day intensive avalanche February 15 17. Half of the spots are reserved for snowboarders. To sign up call the Black Diamond retail store at 801-278-0233.

 

On Sunday February 2nd there will be a fundraiser for the Wasatch Backcountry Rescue avalanche dog program. Tickets are available at the Black Diamond retail store. Please call 435-615-2226 for more information and additional ticket locations.

 

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 7:30 on Tuesday morning.

 

Thanks for calling!

________________________________________________________________________

National Weather Service - Salt Lake City - Snow.

For an explanation of avalanche danger ratings:

http://www.avalanche.org/usdanger.htm