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 26, 2003
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Good Morning. This is Evelyn Lees with the
Winds, clouds and temperatures have been steadily increasing ahead of the approaching Pacific trough. Under cloudy skies, the southwesterly winds are currently in the 15 to 25 mph range, with gusts in the 30’s and 40’s. Temperatures have warmed significantly, and are near 30 above 9,000’, and near 40 at the lower elevations.
As for snow conditions, I would definitely wait to call in sick until tomorrow, when there is a chance for significant fresh powder. Yesterday’s hot sun destroyed most of the soft snow, and a mix of crusts dominates the snow surface today. There is a little powder on very sheltered, shady slopes at the higher elevations.
The strong winds will manage
to find the last bits of loose snow, and whip up a few fresh wind drifts today. While the drifts will be shallow and pockety,
they will certainly be sensitive and a few large enough to grab you and take you
for a ride. Once the snow starts to pile
up later today and tonight, the size, depth and danger of the new drifts will
rapidly increase. With above freezing
temperature below about 8,500’ and some heating today, wet loose sluffs are
possible on steep slopes. So if you find
yourself on a slope where the snow is wet mush, it’s time to swi
In my snow pits yesterday, I was unable to isolate a column around the buried crust from Sunday’s rain and warm snow. The weak snow around this crust could be a problem layer on shady mid and upper elevation slopes with the expected load of new snow.
And finally, there may still be isolated places where it is possible to trigger an avalanche on a deeper weak layer, with very serious consequences. The most likely place to find this sort of trouble is a very steep northerly facing slope above 9,500 feet, especially in rocky areas with a relatively thin snow pack.
Bottom Line (SLC,
The danger of wet loose sluffs is MODERATE today on steep slopes, especially at the lower elevations and in areas of rain on loose snow. There is a MODERATE danger on any steep slope with recent deposits of wind drifted snow. The isolated danger of triggering a deep slab avalanche on slopes approaching 40 degrees and above about 9,500 feet remains MODERATE. On slopes less steep than 35 degrees, the danger generally is LOW.
The Pacific cold front will reach
the central Wasa
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 Thursday morning.
Thanks for calling!
For an explanation of avalanche danger ratings: