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


Thursday, April 03, 2003

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Good Morning.  This is Bruce Tremper with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory for the Wasatch Range.  Today is Thursday, April 03, 2003, and it’s 7:00 in the morning. 


Current Conditions:

It’s funny weather we get this time of year.  Yesterday, we had a blizzard of apricot and apple blossoms along with uncounted tons of desert dust.  Today we have a blizzard of some strange, white substance we haven’t seen in town in quite some time.  In the mountains we have 7-10 inches of fairly light density snow, fairly evenly spread through most parts of the Wasatch Range with about half that amount in the Provo Area Mountains.   The new snow fell on solidly frozen sun crusts that were breakable below about 8,500’ and quite thick and supportable above 8,500’ and some dry, old snow and hard wind crusts on north facing slopes.  Today you’ll have to watch out for all the frozen chunks under the new snow from old wet roller balls and wet avalanche debris left over from the very warm temperatures early in the week.  A lot of these buried obstacles will have the consistency of concrete traffic barriers that can break your shins or bend a trailing arm on your sled.  


Avalanche Conditions:

Most likely we won’t have to worry about avalanches breaking into deeper layers of old snow because the very warm temperatures consolidated the snowpack, effectively raising the ground level in most areas.  So today the main concern will be the new snow, which like a golden retriever dog, wears its emotions on the surface and there’s seldom any hidden agendas.  Today you will almost certainly be able to get some loose sluffs going on the steep slopes that have old, hard crusts underneath and you might find some shallow, soft slab avalanches in places.  Where the wind has deposited the new snow into drifts, you will be able to trigger some soft wind slabs about a foot deep and up to two feet deep in very wind exposed places.  For the most part, these kinds of wind slabs will tend to break at your feet instead of above you, making for more user-friendly conditions as far as wind slabs go—that is if you know what you are doing.  As more new snow piles up today, especially if the wind blows hard, the danger of triggering wind slabs will rise.


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

Today there is a MODERATE danger of loose snow sluffs and soft wind slabs on any slope around 35 degrees or steeper, meaning that there’s localized places where you can trigger an avalanche.  If we get more than about a foot of snow combined with strong winds the avalanche danger may rise to CONSIDERABLE on steep slopes with recent wind drifts.  Otherwise the danger is mostly LOW.


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:

This morning we have one strong pulse of snow ending and another pulse coming in for about mid day.  We should get another 3-7 inches of snow today before we get a break in the action tonight.  Today ridge top winds should blow 15-25 from the west and northwest with 10,000’ temperatures getting mighty chilly, down around 10 degrees today and around 5 degrees tonight.  At 8,000’ the high today should be near 25 with an overnight low near 12.  Skies should be cloudy to partly cloudy all day.  For the extended forecast, winter is certainly not over yet.  We have another shot of snow on Friday and yet another pulse on Saturday and Sunday.  Then we have a strong, warm ridge building in for the rest of the week with the possibility of another storm for late next weekend.


Click here for more detailed mountain weather forecast and other weather links.


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.


I will update this advisory by 7:00 on Friday morning.


Thanks for calling!



National Weather Service - Salt Lake City - Snow.

For an explanation of avalanche danger ratings: