Wasatch Cache National Forest

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Avalanche advisory


Wednesday, April 02, 2003

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Good Morning. This is Ethan Greene with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory for the Wasatch Range. Today is Wednesday, April 02, 2003, and its 7:30 in the morning.


Current Conditions:

If youre considering calling-in-sick for work this morning you may want to wait one more day. Temperatures are in the upper 30s at 8,000 and near 30 degrees at 10,000. The skies have been mostly cloudy overnight and the winds are in the 30 mph range from the southwest. At more exposed stations there have been wind gusts in the 70s and there is a High Wind Warning in affect for the Wasatch Mountains through noon today.


Yesterday there was still some dense but dry snow on northerly aspects at upper elevations. Elsewhere there was a nice mix of breakable crusts and sloppy snow.


Avalanche Conditions:

Mountain temperatures got a little colder last night, but the refreeze was shallow in areas below 8,000. The snow in mid-elevation areas remains quite damp and loose. This mushy snow is quite dense and if you get some moving down the hill it tends to wrap around you like a mystical sea creature dragging you into the unknown depths. This situation is especially dangerous if the slide pushes you off a cliff or into a tree or gully. The warm temperatures have also weakened some of the cornices, so they may be easier to trigger and break back farther than you expect.


This morning and this afternoon are going to seem like two different days. Presently its quite warm and the southerly winds are howling. This afternoon a cold front will move though the Wasatch. Well get some snow and gusty winds and the danger of new snow sluffs and winds slabs will increase.


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

Today there is a MODERATE danger of loose snow avalanches below about 8,500. Above about 8,500 the avalanche danger is generally LOW this morning, but it will increase to MODERATE this afternoon with snow and wind. 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:

A strong Pacific trough and associated cold front will move into the Great Basin today. There is a High Wind Warning in effect for the Wasatch Mountains through noon today. Southwest winds in the 40 mph range are expected through midday when the cold front moves through. With the cold front expect snow, gusty winds, and thunder and lightning are possible. Mountain temperatures are near 40 degrees this morning, but they will drop into the upper 20s this afternoon. The snow falling this afternoon could be quite dense. I expect 3 to 5 inches (2 4 outside of the Cottonwoods) by the end of business and an additional 4 to 6 overnight (3 5 outside of the Cottonwoods).


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 Thursday morning.


Thanks for calling!


National Weather Service - Salt Lake City - Snow.

For an explanation of avalanche danger ratings: