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

Thursday, January 23, 2003

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Good Morning.  This is Bruce Tremper with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Today is Thursday, January 23, 2003, and it’s 7:30 in the morning.  This advisory is brought to you by our partner, the Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center, generously supported by Black Diamond Equipment.


UDOT will be sighting in the gun in Provo Canyon this morning.  There will be intermittent road closures starting at 10 am, and ice climbing will be closed.


Current Conditions: 

Well, stranger things have been known to happen.  We actually got some snow in the mountains—a mighty 1-2 inches.  These days, it doesn’t take much to get us excited.  It’s still warm in the mountains this morning with mountain top temperatures in the mid to upper 20’s and winds from the west around 20 mph and 30 on the most exposed peaks.


The old snow surface is a maddening mix of sun and wind crusts in most areas, but believe it or not, there’s still lots of soft, settled recrystalized snow that feels like powder on the northerly facing, wind sheltered areas. 


Avalanche Conditions:

Most of the slabs and weak layers have been lounging around for the past week and they are now relaxed like a sleeping cat draped over the back of the couch.  Even though most of the slabs have very weak snow underneath them, they don’t seem inclined to move with the weight of a person and we’re calling the avalanche danger mostly LOW.  If, by some miracle, we get more than a few inches out of this storm, (it should be ending this morning) the avalanche danger could rise to MODERATE, especially on steep slopes with recent wind drifts.  Also, the snow surface has been getting so weak, that we have seen some significant sluffs of surface snow on steep slopes that are starting to get large enough to mention.


Bottom Line (SLC, Park City, Ogden and Logan Area Mountains):

There is a LOW avalanche danger on all slopes, but if we get more than a few inches of snow today, there will be a MODERATE danger on steep slopes with recent wind drifts.


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


Mountain Weather:

I’m not sure I can dignify this disturbance by calling it a storm, but whatever it is, it should end this morning after putting down a couple inches of snow.  We should have partly cloudy skies for the rest of today with perhaps a few more snowflakes tonight.  Daytime highs at 8,000’ should be around 40 degrees with ridge top temperatures around 30.  Ridge top winds should blow from the west around 20 mph.


For the extended forecast, the general pattern for the next 10 days is more encouraging as the ridge is flattening out, allowing more impulses to get through.  We will, however, still be stuck under a weak ridge with some moisture and a series of weak systems coming over the top of the ridge, which should give us cloudy skies and occasional light snow showers for the next week or so.  The next pulse looks like this weekend and then more pulses through next week.  None of these disturbances look like they will give us any significant snow, but they may freshen things up a little. 


General Information:

Wasatch Powderbird Guides will fly today in Days, Silver, Cardiff and also take some runs in Alexander Basin and Lambs Canyon.


The Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center, supported by Voile and Milosport, are offering an intensive three-day avalanche class 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.


Tom Kimbrough will update this advisory by 7:30 on Friday morning.


Thanks for calling!




National Weather Service - Salt Lake City - Snow.

For an explanation of avalanche danger ratings: