Wasatch Cache National Forest

In partnership with: The Friends of the Utah Avalanche 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

Monday, April 07, 2003

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 Monday, April 07, 2003, and itís 7:30 in the morning.

 

Current Conditions:

By all accounts, including my own, yesterday was the best day of the season in most areas of the Wasatch Range.Storm totals for the past week in the upper Cottonwood Canyons are around three feet of light snow, which has settled to about two feet.Thereís also over a foot of settled powder in the Ogden and Provo Area Mountains.If you somehow missed out on it these past couple days, today will be just about the last chance to enjoy the snow because skies will clear up today and all our new snow should turn to mashed potatoes in a hurry, at least on the sun exposed slopes.However, it should stay nice on the upper elevation north facing slopes maybe for a couple more days.Only two inches of snow fell overnight and the last snow squall of this storm is hitting the mountains this morning, which is adding another inch or so.

 

Avalanche Conditions:

Today, I think your largest concern will be intense warming of the new snow by the strong spring sun.Although we will probably have scattered clouds hanging around the mountains there should be quite a bit of sun getting through and this April sun is very intense.Snow does not like rapid changes, and itís going to be quite a shock today when the strong April sun hits this deep pile of cold, dry snow.Skies should remain clear for the rest of the week so we will likely have widespread areas of wet sluffs tomorrow and Wednesday as well.

 

The second problem is with all this light, fluffy snow on the surface, it doesnít take much wind to instantly create some sensitive wind drifts.The stronger winds from a couple nights created some localized areas of soft slab avalanches about a foot deep along the upper elevation, wind exposed ridges.Yesterday people were able to crack out several of these, mostly a foot deep and 30 feet wide, but one natural avalanche in the Ogden Mountains was up to 300 feet wide.This was a recent wind drift triggered by the strong sun hitting the snow for the first time.These wind drifts are quite localized, though, and they exist mostly along the highest, most wind exposed ridges.The vast majority of the snow, however, is not wind affected and is behaving itself quite well.

 

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

Today if we get sun, the danger from damp to wet sluffs and soft slab will rise from LOW to CONSIDERABLE on steep slopes when the strong sun warms the snow.Today is not a good day to have a picnic or build a kicker under a steep, south facing slope.†† Also, the avalanche danger is MODERATE on slopes with recent deposits of wind drifted snow steeper than 35 degrees.The avalanche danger is generally LOW on non sun and wind affected terrain, and on slopes less than about 35 degrees.

 

Western Uinta Mountains: Click Here

Logan Ė call 435-797-4146 or Click Here.

 

Mountain Weather:

This morning, the last snow squall of this impressive storm is giving the mountains the last couple inches of snow before we head into a dramatic warming for the rest of the week.Snow should end quickly this morning with some lingering clouds in the mountains, but skies should finally clear out by later in the day.In the mean time, there should be plenty of strong April sun shining through the scattered clouds.This morning, ridge top winds are 10 mph from the northwest with temperatures still very cold, around 10 degrees.Winds should become light and variable by afternoon and 10,000í temperatures should rise to around 20 degrees today with 8,000í temperatures rising to the mid 30ís.For the rest of the week, skies should be clear and 8,000í temperatures will warm to the mid 40ís on Tuesday and the mid 50ís by Wednesday and be in the 60ís by Saturday.Then it looks like we will have another storm by late next weekend.

 

General Information:

This coming Sunday will be the last morning advisory of the season and we will issue afternoon updates, as needed until about the end of April.Also, I want to remind you that we update our 364-1591 line each morning by 6:00 am with avalanche activity from the previous day and also during corn snow conditions, we give all the morning temperatures.

Wasatch Powderbird Guides will fly today in the American Fork drainage.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.

 

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

 

Thanks for calling!

________________________________________________________________________

††

National Weather Service - Salt Lake City - Snow.

For an explanation of avalanche danger ratings:

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