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

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 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 Sunday, November 23, 2003, and it’s 7:30 a.m. 


Current Conditions:

You’ll need to keep your ear muffs handy once again for today: the temperatures are still below zero!  A storm that looked like a monster early on brought only about a foot in storm totals, with 4-6” in the last 24 hours and an inch overnight.  Clearly the front page news in the backcountry was the frigid temps, the gusty northwest winds, and the good skiing and riding conditions.  There was probably a better chance of getting frostbite than teasing an avalanche.  Winds are averaging in the 15-20 mph range out of the northwest.  In the upper elevations, the new snow is sitting on either old windboard or suncrust - perhaps lower angled slopes or mid-elevation sheltered terrain will be the best bet for today.


Avalanche Conditions:

The winds yesterday were able to have their way with the 5-7% density snow and most observers reported drifting in the upper elevations with some channeling down in the drainages.  The drifting produced one natural over on the Park City ridgeline, about 10” deep, 150’ wide; control work from some of the ski areas produced similar results.  Backcountry travelers reported not-so-sensitive 3-6” soft slabs along the upper ridgelines that would crack and sometimes pull out and run a few hundred feet.   As our 3-4’ base has settled into a pretty solid and stable snowpack, any problems today should be in any drifting from yesterday and overnight.  


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

The avalanche danger is mostly LOW today with some localized areas of MODERATE in the upper elevations where it may be possible to trigger a shallow wind drift.  These will be confined to the upper elevations on northeast- through southeast-facing slopes steeper than 35 degrees.  


Mountain Weather:

The cold upper level low pressure system will slide east allowing for partly cloudy skies for today and tomorrow.  Ridgetop winds will be 15-20 mph from the northwest.  8000’ temperatures will be near 20°F, with 10,000’ temperatures rising to 10°F.  The next disturbance should arrive Monday evening with unsettled weather into mid-week.


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. 


I will update this advisory Monday 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: