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
Monday, February 03, 2003
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Good Morning. This is Ethan Greene with the
The Snow Miser made a brief
visit to the Wasa
Storm totals are 20 to 25
inches of snow and up to 1.5” water in Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons, 14
inches of snow and 1.5” water along the Park City Ridgeline, and 5 to 7 inches
of snow in the
It is still snowing lightly in some mountain areas. Mountains temperatures continue to fall and this morning they are in the mid teens at 8,000’ and in the upper single digits at 10,000’. The winds have been from the northwest in the 10 to 15 mph range.
Yesterday we got the huff, puff, and the fluff. Reports from the backcountry indicate that the winds were moving a lot of snow along the higher ridgelines, but in many low and mid elevation areas it was calm and the wind load remained minor. Below about 9,000’ the old snow was wet, but with relatively low density snow and negligible wind loading the avalanche danger was minor. There were three remotely triggered avalanches reported from areas above 9,000’. A skier on a northeast facing portion of Reynolds Peak triggered a slab avalanche over 1 foot deep and 50 feet wide (photo1, photo2, photo3, photo4, check out the dirt layer!). This avalanche released from an area that slid in December. It broke down into faceted snow that formed in November taking out both the new snow and the wind load from last week. There were also two remotely triggered avalanches in the George’s Bowl area. The slides were 50 to several hundred feet wide and were triggered on steep northeast aspects.
Today there are a few avalanche issues to keep in mind while you’re out in the backcountry. First is the wind load. During the last 24-hours winds have been strong enough to transport snow. Today you may find localized areas were fresh wind drifts are sensitive to the weight of a person. Look out for recent wind drifts on steep southeast and easterly slopes. Second, you may still be able to trigger a deep slab avalanche in areas there the snowpack remained relatively thin and week during our dry spell. These areas are generally northeast, north, and northwest facing slopes, over 35 degrees, and above 9,000’. Avalanche paths that slid during the late December avalanche cycle may repeat. And third in most areas the wet snow is now frozen, but there is a possibility that the new snow may be more sensitive today on steep slopes that were wet yesterday (if you’re stuck at work this morning check out a recent paper on this subject).
Bottom Line (SLC,
There is a localized or MODERATE danger of triggering a recent wind slab avalanche in exposed upper elevation areas. There is also a MODERATE danger of triggering an avalanche into deeper weak layers on northeast through northwest slopes steeper than 35 degrees that are above 9,000’. Below about 9,000’ the avalanche danger is generally LOW.
A ridge of high pressure will
bring partly cloudy skies, moderate winds, and continued cold temperatures to
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.
Bruce Tremper will update this advisory by on Tuesday morning.
Thanks for calling!
For an explanation of avalanche danger ratings: