Wasatch Cache National Forest

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

 

The Utah Avalanche Center Home page is: http://www.avalanche.org/~uac/

 

 

Avalanche advisory

 

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

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Good Morning.This is Tom Kimbrough with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory for the Wasatch Range.Today is Tuesday, April 1, 2003, and itís 7:30 in the morning.

 

Current Conditions:

This spring weather will make fools of us all.Yesterday I hit a patch of very sticky snow, went right over the handlebars and this morning Iím sporting a beautiful shiner.Today will feel like summer, even up high but by tomorrow conditions will be much more like winter.Under cloudy skies overnight temperatures remained very warm, in the forties and fifties below 9,000 feet, in the thirties at 10,000 and just barely freezing for an hour or two at 11,000 feet.Winds are very strong, averaging 30 to 40 on the high ridges, with gusts to 70.

 

Yesterday there was still a little settled powder on northerly aspects at upper elevations but most of that may be cooked this morning with widespread breakable crusts and sloppy snow the order of the day.If there are any supportable crusts this morning, they wonít last long today if there is much solar radiation coming through the high clouds.

 

Avalanche Conditions:

The damp snow was moving yesterday with slope cuts on steep slopes at all elevations and there were a few roller balls and point releases that widened out and started pushing a fair amount of snow but all the slides that I saw only involved the surface layers.Not that you would want to get pushed around by or, heaven forbid, buried by that sort of wet cement.Without an overnight freeze, the wet slide conditions may be worse today.In our favor will be the strong winds, which will help cool the snow surface and high clouds that will reduce the solar heating.

 

Be alert for signs of increasing wet slide activity like roller balls and point release avalanches starting near rocks or on steep slopes.If you see any of these signs or if youíre sinking into the snow more than about 8 inches itís time to get off of and out from under the steep terrain.

 

With the current warm temperatures, the weak layers buried deep in the snow pack may again become sensitive.Although it has been over a week since we have seen any deep slab avalanches in the backcountry, with the warm temperatures of the last couple of days the possibility of natural deep releases is increasing.These slides could be large, perhaps involving the entire snow pack, and very dangerous.Places like Broadís Fork and Stairs Gulch where the snow is lying on steep and smooth rock slabs may be especially dangerous.

 

Finally there may be a few fresh wind drifts at the highest elevations where there may still be a little dry snow to blow around.

 

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

This morning, the avalanche danger is MODERATE.With daytime heating, the danger of wet sluffs and wet slabs may rise to CONSIDERABLE on and below steep slopes.There is also a MODERATE danger of both natural and triggered wet slab avalanches breaking into deep, old snow layers on all steep slopes.

 

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:

There is a High Wind Warning in effect for the Wasatch Mountains through today as a storm approaches from the northwest.Skies will have high clouds today becoming mostly cloudy by late today.Winds will be very strong from the south and southwest.Temperatures will get into the mid fifties at 8,000í and into the forties at 10,000.Temperatures will cool tonight with a chance of precipitation late.Snowfall should develop on Wednesday and the weather may remain unsettled through the weekend.

 

General Information:

Wasatch Powderbird Guides will not be flying today.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.

 

Evelyn Lees will update this advisory by 7:30 on Wednesday morning.

 

Thanks for calling!

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National Weather Service - Salt Lake City - Snow.

For an explanation of avalanche danger ratings:

http://www.avalanche.org/usdanger.htm