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 23, 2003

Good afternoon. This is Bruce Tremper 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 Wednesday, April 23, 2003, and its about 4:30 pm in the afternoon.

 

Current Conditions:

In the upper elevations about 2-4 inches of fresh snow fell yesterday with rain below about 7,500. It was enough to freshen things up and it was quite nice today with dust on supportable crust above about 9,500 and the underlying snow was a little mushy below about 9,000 but still nice. The ridge top temperatures have cooled down to the lower 20s from near 30 yesterday and the 9,000 temperatures are around 30.

 

Avalanche Conditions:

The avalanche conditions remain fairly dull. With the exception of some sluffing of the new snow on the steep slopes, most of the underlying snow is fairly stable. The only problems I can see is if one of these sluffs of new snow takes you over a cliff or into a terrain trap like a gully. Also, at elevations below about 9,500, the snow is quite mushy and if you bulldozed the snow into a pile on a steep slope, it might gouge down and make a deeper, wet avalanche, but so far it seems to be staying place fairly well. Were supposed to get a little more new snow this afternoon and evening from a few more spring showers, but I dont think they will amount to much.

 

Bottom Line:

For tonight and Thursday, the avalanche danger is generally LOW. With strong heating by the sun on Thursday, the avalanche danger from damp to wet sluffs may rise to MODERATE on steep, sun exposed slopes, especially in the heat of the afternoon. If we get more than about 8 inches of new snow overnight, you can bump the danger ratings up a notch, but I dont think we will get much snow.

 

Mountain Weather:

We should have a short-lived ridge for Thursday, which should give us mostly sunny skies in the mountains and warmer temperatures. After a shallow freeze tonight, the 8,000 temperature should get up into the lower 50s and the 10,000 temperatures should be in the upper 30s. Winds should be from the southwest and become stronger on Thursday night and Friday.

 

For the extended forecast, we have another spring storm heading mostly north of us for Friday and Saturday but it looks like it will nip us enough to give us some pulses of snow in the mountains with rain in the valleys. Then, there should be a little break on Sunday and another pulse on Monday.

 

General Information:

Since the avalanche and weather conditions are fairly benign, we will wait a couple days before updating this forecast again. We will probably put more information on for Friday afternoon. Then we will finally pull the plug on the avalanche advisories for the season after this weekend.

 

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 on Friday afternoon.

 

Thanks for calling!

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National Weather Service - Salt Lake City - Snow.

For an explanation of avalanche danger ratings:

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