Wasatch Cache National Forest

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Avalanche advisory


Sunday, March 30, 2003

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Good Morning.  This is Evelyn Lees with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory for the Wasatch Range.  Today is Sunday, March 30, 2003, and it’s 7:30 in the morning. 


Current Conditions:

As the high pressure strengthens over northern Utah, temperatures have notably warmed. The mountain stations from 7,000 to 11,000 feet are in the upper teens and low twenties, which is 10 to 15 degrees warmer than yesterday morning.  Winds are from the northwest, generally in the 10 to 20 mph range.  At the highest elevations, speeds were higher overnight, averaging near 30 with gusts to 40.


The swath of good powder is shrinking daily under the high March sun.  But there is soft settled powder in a narrow band on northerly facing, upper elevation slopes, encircled by supportable and breakable crusts in the morning, which soften to damp and wet snow later in the day.


Avalanche Conditions:

With warming temperatures and lots of sun, I expect widespread wet snow sluffs today on steep east through south through west facing slopes.  As sun exposed slopes heat up, expect roller balls, followed by loose wet sluffs and even a few wet slabs.  The sluffs will often initiating near rock outcrops that heat up rapidly.  Sluffing may also occur on low and mid elevation shady slopes.  So as always, get off of, and out from underneath, any steep slope when the snow becomes wet and sloppy. 


Along the upper elevation peaks and ridges, a few shallow new drifts will have developed from current winds.  These, plus a few isolated old drifts from Wednesday, may be sensitive to the weight of a person on steep slopes.


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

This morning, the avalanche danger is generally LOW.  With daytime heating, the danger of wet sluffs and wet slabs will rise to MODERATE, and possibly CONSIDERABLE, on and below steep sun exposed slopes.  There is the continuing MODERATE danger of deeper avalanches breaking into old layers of faceted snow on steep slopes above about 9,500’ especially on northerly through easterly facing slopes.  This danger may increase with warming.

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


Logan: Call 435-797- 4146 or click here for the web site.


Mountain Weather:

High pressure will dominate the weather through Monday.  Clear, sunny skies today, with highs in the low to mid 40’s at 8,000’ and near 30 at 10,000’.  Winds will be from the northwest, in the 10 to 20 mph range this morning, then decrease this afternoon.  Lows tonight will be in the mid 20’s in the valley bottoms where the cold air pools, but free air temperatures will be above freezing at 10,000’.  Monday and Tuesday will be even warmer, with breezy southwest winds.  Then the weather will become unsettled, with cooler temperatures and periods of snow, Wednesday through next weekend.


General Information:

Wasatch Powderbird Guides will be flying in American Fork.  For more information call 801-742-2800.


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.


Ethan Greene will update this advisory by 7:30 on Monday morning.


Thanks for calling!



National Weather Service - Salt Lake City - Snow.

For an explanation of avalanche danger ratings: