In partnership with: The Friends of the Utah
Tuesday, April 08, 2003
Good Morning. This is Bruce Tremper with the
Yesterday the strong April sun baked the sun exposed slopes giving them a sun crust but the straight north facing slopes above about 8,500’ still have dry powder. Ridge top temperatures are in the mid 20’s this morning, which is about 10 degrees warmer than yesterday at this time. And they should continue to warm over the next several days.
Yesterday, a snowboarder triggered a wind slab in Wolverine
Cirque, which is a very steep, upper elevation area between Alta and
Today, I think the main problem will be the usual round of wet, loose sluffs on steep sun exposed slopes. These damp to wet sluffs are as predictable as clockwork in spring as the cold, new snow warms up for the first time in the very strong April sun. Yesterday, the scattered mountain top clouds and cold temperatures helped to diminish the wet activity from what it could have been. Still, several skiers were able to trigger wet, loose sluffs on steep southerly facing slopes yesterday. Today, we have two competing factors. First, many of the steep southerly facing slopes disgorged their snow yesterday, so there’s less to come down today. On the other hand, with no clouds and much warmer temperatures, what did not slide yesterday, will slide today and it will likely slide on a wider variety of aspects. In other words, instead of just south facing slopes, we will probably see more activity on east and west facing slopes as well as lower elevation north facing slopes. As you can imagine, today is definitely not a good day to build a kicker or have a picnic on or under steep, sun exposed slopes. It’s time to start playing the spring time game of getting out early and getting off of and out from underneath steep slopes when they start to get damp or wet.
Bottom Line (SLC,
The danger from loose, wet sluffs and wet slabs will quickly rise from LOW to CONSIDERABLE on steep slopes when the strong sun makes the snow damp or soggy. This will probably occur on most aspects except upper elevation, straight north facing slopes. Also, there may still be some localized places where you might trigger one of the old wind slabs on steep, very wind exposed terrain, which we call MODERATE danger. The avalanche danger is generally LOW on non sun and wind affected terrain, and on slopes less than about 30 degrees.
We should have clear skies until about Friday and temperatures will warm each day. Today, 10,000’ temperatures will rise to the mid 30’s and the 8,000’ temperatures will rise to the mid 40’s. Ridge top winds will blow from the southwest 10-20 mph. By Wednesday, the 8,000’ temperatures will be 50’s and by Thursday, they will be in the mid to upper 50’s with ridge top temperatures in the mid 40’s. Then we have another storm coming in for about Saturday night through Monday.
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 with avalanche activity from the previous day and also during corn snow conditions, we give all the morning temperatures.
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.
Evelyn Lees will update this advisory by 7:00 on Wednesday morning.
Thanks for calling!
For an explanation of avalanche danger ratings: