Wasatch Cache National Forest

In partnership with: The Friends of the Utah Avalanche Forecast Center, Utah Department of Public Safety Division of Comprehensive Emergency Management, Salt Lake County, and Utah State Parks


: http://www.avalanche.org/~uac/


Avalanche advisory

Monday.  November 10, 2003   7:30 am


Good morning, this is Drew Hardesty with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Today is Monday, November 10, 2003, and it’s 7:30 a.m. 


Current Conditions:

While it only snowed an inch or two during the day in the central Wasatch, overnight, most mountain locations picked up another 4-8” of 12-13% density snow. Consistent with a storm on a southwest flow, the Provo and Ogden area mountains picked up 10-14”.   Another 3-6” is expected by the time this thing dries out in the afternoon.  Higher than normal densities early in the storm was a function of the warmer temperatures and graupel and snowfall amounts are clearly elevation dependent as well.  Temperatures are now some 8 degrees cooler than yesterday, now in the twenties at 8000’.  Ridgetop winds are now west and southwest at 10-15mph.   


Avalanche Conditions:

The new snow came in heavy and wet resulting in at least one natural avalanche at 9200’ in the Provo area mountains.  It was reported to be at least 3 feet deep, fifty feet wide and running 400’.  The heavier new snow is now sitting on lighter density recrystalized snow in shady areas and crusts on the sunny aspects where bonding may be variable based on aspect and elevation.  As the rain-snow line stood around 7500’, the highest snowfall was relegated to the higher elevations, where today you’ll find the highest hazard.  Additionally, the moderate south and southwest winds formed drifts both along the ridgelines and at the mid-elevations. Today the avalanche conditions will be touchy in the terrain above about 9000’ where the winddrifts and heavier snow have formed  unstable slabs waiting for an unsuspecting backcountry traveler.  The key is to look for any signs of recent avalanche activity, cracking and collapsing in the snowpack and avoid any smooth rounded wind pillows on the lee of windbreaks.   Look for steep short test slopes where there will be no consequences to see how the snow will react to the weight of a person.  Travel one at a time, carry rescue gear, and choose conservative routes. 


Bottom Line:

The avalanche danger is MODERATE increasing to CONSIDERABLE at the higher elevations today on slopes steeper than about 35 degrees.  Caution should be exercised when traveling in and below avalanche terrain.  The danger at the upper elevations in the Ogden and Provo mountains is CONSIDERABLE.   In these areas, human triggered avalanches will be probable, with natural avalanches possible.


Mountain Weather:

It looks like we might be able to wring out another 3-6” out of this system this morning before it moves on this afternoon.  The flow has shifted to the west and we’ll see generally light to moderate ridgetop winds.  8000’ temperatures will be in the high twenties with 10,000’ temperatures at 20 degrees.  As it moves inland and through Utah, the closed Low off the California coast will produce unsettled weather this week with Wednesday looking to be like a day of bluebird skies.


General Information:

If you are getting into the backcountry, please give us a call and let us know what you’re seeing, especially if you trigger an avalanche.  You can leave a message at 524-5304 or 1-800-662-4140.  Or you can e-mail an observation to [email protected] .org, or you can fax an observation 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 Tuesday morning.

 Thanks for calling!


For more detailed weather information go to our Mountain Weather Advisory

National Weather Service - Salt Lake City - Snow.

For an explanation of avalanche danger ratings: