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

Saturday, April 19, 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 near Salt Lake City. Today is Saturday, April 19, 2003, and its about 8:00 in the morning.


Current Conditions:

Snow showers diminished overnight, but the mountains still picked up a couple of inches of new snow. Storm totals are in the 10 to 15 inch range with 0.8 to 1.4 inches of water. The Ogden and Farmington area mountains picked up 10 to 17 inches of snow and about 6 inches accumulated in the Provo mountains.


Last night under mostly cloudy skies, temperatures dipped into the mid 20s at 8,000 and high teens at 10,000. The winds are from the north and northeast in the 10 mph range with gusts into the upper 20s along the high peaks.


In most areas the snow surface is covered with soft new snow. Areas below about 9,500 became damp yesterday during a period of thin clouds. Yesterday the old snow below about 8,500 was still damp to the ground.


Avalanche Conditions:

Snow conditions were quite variable before the storm, and that pattern hasnt changed much since. In areas below about 8,500 the old snowpack is still wet and mushy. These areas are now covered with a blanket of new snow and it will take a while for the old snow to refreeze. This wet snowpack is quite weak, so small avalanches could dig down into the old snow. Fortunately there isnt much new snow in these areas, and the old snow is generally supporting its new load.


Above about 9,500 were the old surface was frozen it is relatively easy to trigger small sluffs and soft slabs on steep slopes. These slides are either running on the old snow surface or a weakness within the new snow. They are generally less than a foot deep and are most dangerous if they can push you off a cliff or into a tree or gulley.


Today the cloud cover will be decreasing. As the sun hits the new snow natural avalanche are likely. With thin clouds these avalanches will be possible on all aspects. In most places they will be sluffs and soft slabs running on the old snow surface, but on large slopes these will still be dangerous avalanches. As the day warms up avoid traveling under large open slopes.


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

Today the avalanche danger is still LOW in areas that received less than about 6 inches of snow. In areas with more than about 8 inches of snow the avalanche danger is MODERATE on slopes steeper than 35 degrees. As the sun breaks through the clouds in the afternoon the avalanche danger will rise and could reach CONSIDERABLE. Avoid traveling under steep slopes as the day warms up.


On Sunday the avalanche conditions will be quite similar. If there are significant periods of sun today, the snow will be less sensitive tomorrow.


Western Uinta Mountains: Click Here

Logan call 435-797-4146 or Click Here.


Mountain Weather:

The trough that brought us new snow today is moving off to the east. A ridge of high pressure will build in over Utah this evening. Today snow showers are possible in the morning, but the clouds should break up by mid day. Temperatures will climb into the 40s at 8,000 and low 30s at 10,000. The winds will be from the northeast in the 10 mph range. It looks like another nice day on Sunday with temperatures dipping into the low 20s tonight and then rising to near 50 degrees tomorrow.


General Information:

Today is my last advisory for the Utah Avalanche Center. I will be leaving to concentrate on academic endeavors next year. I have really enjoyed working with the avalanche programs in the Wasatch and providing information for a wonderful backcountry community. Your support and hard work keep this program running and I feel lucky to have been a part of it. Thank you for the kindness and friendship that you have extended over the past few years, and I hope I will be able to serve you again in the future.


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.


Bruce Tremper will update this advisory on Monday afternoon.


Thanks for calling!


National Weather Service - Salt Lake City - Snow.

For an explanation of avalanche danger ratings: