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

 

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Avalanche advisory

thursday, NOVEMBER 20, 2003   7:30 am

 

Good morning, this is Bruce Tremper with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Today is Thursday, November 20, 2003, and it’s 7:30 a.m. 

 

Current Conditions:

It was a very warm night with breezy winds from the southwest.  The temperatures this morning are a balmy 37 degrees at 10,000’ and 47 degrees at 8,000’.   The backcountry snow conditions have been described in various terms including, “not to be confused with high quality”, “wind-jacked” and “slabby”.  What this means is that the warm snow and high winds on Monday turned most of the wind exposed slopes into dunes of dense, wind drifted snow that range from punchy to hard Styrofoam.  Down lower in the more wind sheltered slopes, it’s not as grim, but the warm temperatures have made things a bit mushy.  Today is probably a good day to catch up on your computer work or head to the groomers at the resorts.  Outside of the central core of the Wasatch Range, the snow is still a bit thin for off trail snowmachining.  The good news is that more snow is on the way.

 

Avalanche Conditions:

Although yesterday, we could still find some of the old, weak layers of surface hoar buried in the snowpack, the warm temperatures and time have healed them up pretty well and they were hard to shear and we don’t think they will be much of a problem from here on out.  The snow is mostly stable with the exception of isolated areas of fresh wind drifts in the upper elevation wind exposed slopes where I could still crack out some localized, hard slabs but they were quite stubborn.

                                                                                                                                                                                          

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

The avalanche danger is mostly LOW with isolated areas of MODERATE danger on steep slopes with fresh deposits of wind drifted snow.  If we get any significant amounts of new snow during the day, you can expect the avalanche danger to rise.

 

Mountain Weather:

This storm on our doorstep is not looking as good as the weather maps hinted couple days ago.  Although colder, unstable air arrives on Friday, the flow is forecast to turn northerly much quicker than we like to see and the wind speeds should drop quickly.  This means that we don’ t have enough wind blowing the moist air up the mountains to make for good orographic precipitation, which is a fancy way of saying that we should have relatively light snow showers on Friday instead of a big dump.  In the mean time, later today and tonight we will have light snow showers with probably under 3 inches accumulated with continued moderate to strong southwest ridge top winds.  Ridge top temperatures should be in the mid 30’s today with upper 30’s at 8,000’.   On Friday the ridge top temperatures should drop into the mid teens with 5-15 mph winds from the north and northwest.  The extended forecast calls for continued cold and moist, unstable air lingering through Sunday with possibly better chance for significant snow on Sunday.  Then, finally, there is another storm for about Tuesday and Wednesday.

 

 

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

 

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:

 

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 801-524-4030.

 

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. 

 

Andrew McLean will update this advisory Friday 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:

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