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

Wednesday, April 09, 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 Wednesday, April 09, 2003, and itís 7:00 in the morning.


Current Conditions:

As the ridge of high pressure strengthens over the Great Basin, temperatures are marching upward.As of 6 am, temperatures from 9,000 to 11,000í are generally in the mid to upper 30ís.The only below freezing temperatures are where cold air has pooled in the valley bottoms, such as at Spruces and the base of Alta.With clear skies, I expect a frozen snow surface early this morning. But the shallow refreeze will be very short lived, and the crusts will rapidly warm to breakable and then slop.


While yesterday was another amazing day of powder on mid and upper elevation northerly facing slopes, by the end of the day the warm temperatures and hot sun shrank the area of soft snow by about 50%.So today, the last uncrusted snow will be on upper elevation, due northerly facing slopes.Elsewhere, expect sloppy, wet grabby snow by late morning.


Avalanche Conditions:

Yesterday, direct sun and warming temperatures triggered the first round of wet loose sluffs and wet slab avalanches.Most of the reported activity was shallow point releases, some widening as they moved down slope.One larger slab avalanche was observed off the easterly facing rock slabs in Broads Fork.With overnight temperatures significantly warmer, the snow will heat up much more rapidly today.I expect an increase in the number of wet sluffs and slabs, with activity starting as early as mid morning.In addition to the sunny slopes, the steep northerly facing slopes also have snow to shed.While more predictable, wet avalanches are still dangerous, with the potential to take you for a long ride on steep slopes, push you over a cliff, or bury you in a gully.


Cornices are softening and becoming more sensitive with the warmer temperatures.Avoid traveling on or below them.Also, there may still be a few isolated places where you could trigger one of the old wind slabs on steep, northerly facing slopes at the upper elevations.


So if youíre heading up high for the powder or going for a long tour today and will be out past mid morning, plan your exit for the end of the day carefully.You donít want to find yourself on a steep sunny or shady slope or in a gully bottom when the snow is wet and sloppy.


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

The avalanche danger at all elevations is LOW early this morning, but will rapidly rise to CONSIDERABLE by mid morning as sunshine and warming temperatures soften the snowpack and create the potential for wet loose and wet slab avalanches. Expect avalanche activity on all aspects, including northerly facing slopes.


Western Uinta Mountains: Click Here

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


Mountain Weather:

High pressure will remain over the Great Basin through most of the week, with clear skies and warming temperatures through at least Friday.Highs today will be in the low 50ís at 8,000í and the mid 30ís at 10,000í.Ridge top winds are from the southwest, in the 10 to 15 mph range and should remain so today and tonight.Temperatures will be non-freezing again tonight, with lows in the mid thirties at both 8 and 10,000í.Thursday will be even warmer, with highs in the 40ís and 50ís.Relief from this heat wave wonít come until Monday, when a colder Pacific trough is forecast to move across the area.


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.We are updating our 364-1591 line each morning by 6:00 am with avalanche activity from the previous day and the early morning corn report.

Wasatch Powderbird Guides will fly a small group in Days, Cardiff, Mineral, Mill Creek and White Pine.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 Thursday morning.


Thanks for calling!



National Weather Service - Salt Lake City - Snow.

For an explanation of avalanche danger ratings: