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

Saturday, April 5, 2003


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 Saturday, April 5, 2003, and its 7:30 in the morning.


Current Conditions:

Our wonderful return to winter continues, with cold temperatures preserving the delightful dry snow on shady slopes. This morning, light snow is falling once again in the mountains, and most areas picked up an inch or two of snow in the last 24 hours. Temperatures are near 20 at 7,000 and in the mid teens at 10,000. Winds are from the southeast, in the 10 to 20 mph range, with gusts 25 to 30.

This weeks snow has settled to about a foot in the Salt Lake mountains and along parts of the Park City ridgeline. Turning conditions are very good, especially on moderate angle slopes. On very steep slopes, you will still be hitting old frozen crusts and tracks occasionally, and watch out for hard objects such a rocks buried just below the snow surface. A few of the east, south and westerly facing slopes got get a thin sun crust yesterday.


Avalanche Conditions:

Yesterday, the snow was mostly stable, and the only activity reported was loose snow sluffs triggered with slope cuts on steep slopes - those approaching 40 degrees or so. While the sluffs were generally narrow, a few were running long distances on the old hard, icy surface.


Today, the increasing winds will be creating sensitive drifts of wind blown snow, so it will be possible to trigger a few wind slabs in addition to the sluffs. Overnight, the winds have picked up just enough to start to drift the snow. The new sensitive wind drifts will be along the highest ridges, mostly on north through east aspects. This morning, I expect these new drifts to be shallow and pockety. If the winds increase today as predicted, the drifts will become more widespread and deeper this afternoon. New snow instabilities tend to break at your feet instead of above you. A good defensive technique is to do several good slope cuts across any steep slope before skiing or boarding it, especially those with wind drifts.


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

Today, the avalanche danger is mostly LOW. But there is a MODERATE danger of triggering loose snow sluffs and fresh wind drifts on any slope approaching 40 degrees or steeper. The areas of sensitive wind drifts will become more widespread this afternoon as winds increase and snow cotinues.


Western Uinta Mountains call 1-800-648-7433.

Logan call 435-797-4146.


Mountain Weather:

A deep trough will remain over the West, with a series of weak short waves affecting northern Utah into Monday. For today, cloudy skies, with snow showers likely. An additional 4 to 9 inches of snow possible. The winds will be from the southeast this morning, and increase as they shift to the northwest midday. Winds could be in the 20 to 30 mph range by sunset. Highs today will be in the mid 20s at 8,000 and the mid teens at 10,000. There is a slight chance for thunder and lightening today and tonight. Continued cool temperatures tonight and tomorrow, with another weak disturbance spreading snow across the Wasatch again by late Sunday afternoon.


General Information:

Tom Kimbrough is retiring, and will issue his last forecast tomorrow. We are extremely sorry to see him go, and I am hoping for a few guest appearances next season. Bruce has posted a retrospective of his life and career on the web in an attempt to do justice to his 40 years spent in the mountains.

Wasatch Powderbird Guides will probably not be flying today, but if they do get out, they will be in Days, Cardiff and White Pine with a home run in Grizzly Gulch . For more information call 801-742-2800.

To report backcountry snow and avalanche conditions, especially if you observe or trigger an avalanche, call (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.


Tom Kimbrough will update this advisory by 7:30 on Sunday morning.


Thanks for calling!


National Weather Service - Salt Lake City - Snow.

For an explanation of avalanche danger ratings: