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
Wednesday, March 12, 2003
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Good Morning. This is Evelyn Lees with the
Spring weather is here with a
vengeance, and if you’re heading out today you’ll need to be well armed with everything
from sunscreen and skin wax, to a t-shirt and extra water. Skies have been clear for most of the night
and temperatures dipped below freezing. In
the Park City and Salt Lake mountains, stations at almost all elevations dropped
into the upper twenties to thirty degrees for a several hours, but have now
started to warm. The westerly winds are
averaging near 25 mph across the highest peaks, and around 10 mph at the
10,000’ level. In the
There may be a few areas of supportable crusts for corn like skiing this morning in the sea of breakable crusts, but both will rapidly give way to wet, sloppy snow on all slopes below about 9,500 feet and on upper elevation sunny slopes. There are a few isolated remnants of dry snow on upper elevation, sheltered, shady slopes, but they’ll be very limited today.
The only avalanche activity reported for the past two days have been loose, wet snow sluffs and people getting chased around by cinnamon rolls of snow. At the higher elevations, the winds and some clouds have helped ease the snow into the warmer temperature regime. At the mid and lower elevations, most of the upper to mid pack is getting very damp. Today, temperatures will be a few degrees warmer, and wet slide activity may be more wide spread. In additions to loose snow sluffs, more dangerous wet slab avalanches will also be possible. And with each day of heating, the chances for a slide off a rocky slab, such as in Broads Fork or off the Mineral slabs, increases.
So chant the usual spring mantra – start early and end early. Get off of and out from under steep slopes once they heat up and the snow gets wet and mushy. And always be thinking consequences – even a small wet sluff can be dangerous if it pushes you off a cliff, buries you in a terrain trap such as a gully, or triggers a larger slab avalanche.
In isolated areas, it is still possible to trigger a dry slab avalanche breaking deeply into weak faceted layers. This would be most likely on a steep rocky slope with a shallow snowpack, or on a steep slope with wind drifts.
Bottom Line (SLC,
Today, there is a MODERATE danger of both natural and human-triggered wet
sluffs and wet slab avalanches, especially in the heat of the afternoon. You should stay off of and out from
underneath steep slopes when the snow heats up.
The danger of wet slides may rise to CONSIDERABLE
Another toasty day is in
store for the northern
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.
Bruce Tremper will update this advisory by on Thursday morning.
Thanks for calling!
For an explanation of avalanche danger ratings: