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
Sunday, March 09, 2003
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Good Morning. This is Ethan Greene with the
After a week of cold and windy weather the sun returned yesterday, and it came back with a vengeance. Last night temperatures dipped to near 20 degrees at both 8,000’ and 10,000’. The winds have been out of the west and southwest in the 15 mph range. Along the high peaks the winds continue to blow in the 25 mph range from the west.
Yesterday the sun caused the snow to become damp on most aspects up to about 8,500’, and those areas will be crusted this morning. Warm temperatures over the last two days have helped the new snow to settle dramatically. The trail breaking has become much less arduous and there is some nice creamy powder in areas sheltered from the sun and warmth.
It’s always nice to get out and look around after a storm, and yesterday’s weather provided a perfect opportunity to view the carnage from last week. Reports of large natural avalanche continue to stream into our office (Wilson Fork 1 2 3, Alexander Basin). Most of these avalanches released during the later half of the week, but direct sun and some explosive testing brought a few down yesterday.
The clear weather allowed for some of our observers to see large natural avalanches on the north side of Timpanogos, Box Elder Peak, the American Fork Twin, White and Red Baldy, and Gobblers Knob. These avalanches probably released on Thursday or Friday, but our avalanche cycle didn’t stop yesterday it just shifted gears.
Yesterday a backcountry traveler
was caught and buried in an avalanche in the
Activity that occurred
yesterday includes a large natural avalanche reported on the north side of
Our recent spell of warm weather is helping to stabilize the new snow instability, but almost three feet of snow and 5 days with strong winds last week put a big new load on our snowpack. The areas where you can trigger a deep slab avalanche are decreasing, but if you get caught in one of these beasts the consequences will be catastrophic. It’s going to be another warm day so the avalanche danger may increase in the afternoon. The greatest danger is in the upper elevation areas, but traveling under steep sun exposed slopes in the afternoon may also expose you to risk.
Bottom Line (SLC,
The avalanche danger today is CONSIDERABLE on wind loaded slopes approaching 40 degrees above about 9,000’. A considerable avalanche danger means that natural avalanches are possible and human triggered avalanches are probable. As the day heats up the danger on and under sun exposed slopes will rise. In other wind loaded areas there is a MODERATE avalanche danger.
Bottom Line (western Uintas): There is a CONSIDERABLE avalanche danger on, adjacent to and below all steep slopes, especially ones with recent wind drifts.
A broad, “dirty” ridge over
To report backcountry snow and avalanche conditions, especially if you observe or trigger an avalanche, please leave a message on our answer machine at (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.
I will update this advisory by on Monday morning.
Thanks for calling!
For an explanation of avalanche danger ratings: