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

Saturday, NOVEMBER 22, 2003   7:30 am


Good morning, this is Evelyn Lees with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Today is Saturday, November 22, 2003, and it’s 7:30 a.m. 


Current Conditions:

Toss that down sweater and the expedition mitts into your pack this morning - temperatures are a frosty 5 to 10 degrees.  The northwesterly winds were generally less than 10 mph overnight, but they are now creeping up into the 15 to 30 mph range along the more exposed ridgelines.  Most areas received another 2 to 4” of fluffy snow overnight, and 24 hour snow totals are 5 to 8” of very light density snow from the Ogden mountains south through the Provo mountains.  Turning and riding conditions will be best on shady, wind sheltered slopes where the new snow is overlying softer old snow.  Other slopes may have a more “dust on crust” feel, but it’s still an improvement.  


Avalanche Conditions:

Avalanche problems today will be mostly confined to the new snow.  As the winds pick up along the higher ridges, they will blow the light snow into soft drifts a foot or more deep.  These drifts will be sensitive to the weight of a person on steep slopes.  One natural has just been reported this morning on a steep, southeasterly facing slope just below 10,000’, on the Park City side.  No details are available yet, but it was most likely fresh, wind drifted snow.  Kicking cornices and careful ski or board cuts will be effective in some areas.  The new snow is also sluffing on the steeper angled slopes.  While these loose snow sluffs are mostly small and manageable, don’t get taken for a ride or pushed into the bottom of a gully and buried.


The old snow beneath has formed a mostly stable base, but there may be isolated areas where the weight of a person or a new snow slide could still trigger one of the weaker deep layers.  This would be most likely on shady slopes at the higher elevations.


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

In upper elevation, wind exposed terrain, there is a CONSIDERABLE danger on steep, wind loaded slopes.  On other upper elevation steep slopes, there is MODERATE danger of triggering a loose snow sluff.  Later today, if you’re in an area where an additional 4 to 8 inches of snow piles up or increasing winds drift the snow, expect more widespread areas of sensitive wind drifts and sluffing.  The avalanche danger is LOW on wind shelter slopes and on lower angle slopes, with human trigger avalanches unlikely. 


Mountain Weather:

Arctic air will pour into northern Utah today as a very cold upper level low moves slowly across the area.  Temperatures will remain in the 5 to 10 degree range at 8,000’, and drop to near zero at 10,000’.  Winds will shift back to true northwest, hopefully setting off the lake effect.  This would give the Cottonwoods another 4 to 8 inches of very light density snow, with other parts of the range receiving an additional 1-3”.  The winds will increase into the 20 to 25 mph range across the higher ridges and peaks.  It will be quite cold tonight, with lows zero to 5 below, and moderate northwest winds.  After a few more snow showers early tonight, a weak ridge will move into the area for Sunday, with partly cloudy skies and slightly warmer afternoon temperatures.


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 801-524-6301.


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. 


Drew Hardesty will update this advisory Sunday 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: