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

Friday, April 11, 2003

Good Morning. This is Ethan Greene with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory for the Wasatch Range. Today is Friday, April 11, 2003, and its about 7:30 in the morning.


Current Conditions:

The weather machine was jammed when I came in this morning, so today will be a lot like yesterday. Under mostly clear skies temperatures dipped into the upper 30s at both 8,000 and 10,000. The free-air freezing level was about 11,800 this morning, and the winds have been in the 10 mph range from the southwest overnight.


Yesterday there was some fine Utah corn on southerly slopes, and this morning there will again be a firm but shallow re-freeze. As you move away from the south half of the compass the surface crusts become less supportable. On steep north facing slopes there is still a little soft snow.


Avalanche Conditions:

Over the last three days the avalanche activity has been limited to loose wet snow slides. These avalanches have been sliding on a dirty crust that formed prior to our last stormy period. The exception to this pattern was a natural slab avalanche that slid off the rock slabs in Broads Fork on Tuesday.


Last night was our second night with above freezing temperatures. The skies were mostly clear and there is a light wind so the snow surface will be frozen this morning. However, temperatures will climb into the fifties today so the snow will rapidly become wet and sloppy. The usual spring drill is to start early, end early, and watch for signs of increasing wet slide activity. If you see roller balls, point-release avalanches, or youre sinking into the wet snow more that about 8 inches its time to get off of and out from under steep sun exposed slopes. Traveling underneath snow resting on steep rock slabs, such as those in Stairs Gulch and Broads Fork, is not recommended.


Our current warming trend will also increase the chance of slides breaking into deeper layers. The roots of cornices may be weakening so avoid traveling on or below large overhanging cornices.


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

The avalanche danger at all elevations is LOW early this morning, but will rise to MODERATE by mid morning as sunshine and warming temperatures soften the snowpack and create the potential for wet loose and wet slab avalanches. Avalanche activity is possible on all aspects, including northerly facing slopes. The danger may rise to CONSIDERABLE on steep sun exposed slopes in the afternoon.


Western Uinta Mountains: Click Here

Logan call 435-797-4146 or Click Here.


Mountain Weather:

Spring like weather will continue today as a ridge of high pressure remains over the Great Basin. Skies will be mostly sunny with some high clouds. Temperatures will rise into the mid 50s at 8,000 and low 40s at 10,000. Southerly winds will increase into the 20 mph range by late this afternoon. An approaching low pressure trough will bring slightly cooler temperatures and breezy southwest winds overnight. Warm temperatures and gusty southwest winds will continue on Saturday, but the cloud cover will increase on Sunday. The next Pacific trough will produce rain and snow showers beginning Sunday evening.

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 be doing some scenic flights today. 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 7:30 on Saturday morning.


Thanks for calling!


National Weather Service - Salt Lake City - Snow.

For an explanation of avalanche danger ratings: