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 17, 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 17, 2003, and it’s 7:30 a.m. 


Current Conditions:

The Wasatch picked up another 4-8” of light density snow yesterday and another 4-6” overnight.  It’s still snowing, and we could see another foot and a half by the time the storm tapers off by late afternoon.  The overnight accumulations have been difficult to gauge due to the very strong winds drifting the snow at the weather stations.  Winds along the ridgelines have been averaging in the twenties and thirties, with gusts in the fifties.  Temperatures are in the mid-20’s at 9500’.  Turning and riding conditions have been excellent.


Avalanche Conditions:

The avalanche danger will be on the rise today with already a foot of snow in the past 24 hours and another 10-16” expected during the day.  We will have two avalanche problems to deal with: avalanches occurring in the heavier new and winddrifted snow on top of yesterday’s light density snow, and avalanches stepping down and reactivating our buried weak layers.  Keep in mind that avalanches failing on surface hoar will slide on slopes as low as 30 degrees and may pull adjacent slopes with it.  Both natural and human triggered avalanches are likely and those breaking down to the buried surface hoar and faceted snow will be large and difficult to survive. Remember that strong winds will drift snow well off the ridgelines and in unusual places and cornices may break back further than expected.  Those without good routefinding skills will want to avoid being on or underneath steep terrain.   


Bottom Line (Salt Lake, Park City and Ogden area mountains):

The avalanche danger is HIGH today on northwest through east slopes above 9500’ and steeper than about 35 degrees.  The danger will be CONSIDERABLE on 30-35 degree slopes and in any terrain where there are recent deposits of wind drifted snow. 


Provo area mountains:  The avalanche danger is HIGH above 9000’.


Mountain Weather:

A heavy snow warning has been issued and the Wasatch could receive 10-16” of snow today.  Snow showers may linger into tomorrow morning in those areas favored by a northwest flow.  Ridgetop winds will be strong out of the west and northwest.  8000’ temps will be in the low 20’s with 10,000’ temperatures in the mid-teens.  High pressure fills in for midweek, with another storm on tap for the weekend.



For specific digital forecasts for selected mountain areas from the National Weather Service, click the links below or choose your own specific location at the National Weather Service Digital Forecast Page:


3-Day Table

3-Day Graph

7-Day Table

Ogden Mountains

Ogden Mountains

Ogden Mountains

SLC Mountains

SLC Mountains

SLC Mountains

Provo Mountains

Provo Mountains

Provo Mountains



General Information:

Starting today, Alta Ski Area will be closed to uphill traffic because of avalanche control and slope preparation for their opening on Thursday.


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 801-524-4030.


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. 


We will update this advisory tomorrow 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: