Wasatch Cache National Forest

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Avalanche advisory

Monday, NOVEMBER 24, 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 24, 2003, and it’s 7:30 a.m. 


Current Conditions:

The cold air mass has moved on and temperatures are a good twenty degrees warmer than this time yesterday.   Under partly cloudy skies, most mountain locations are reporting temps in the twenties with some cold air pooling in the mountain valleys and alpine basins.  The winds have picked up into the twenty mph range ahead of this afternoon’s disturbance and have shifted to the west-southwest.  Some of the more exposed wind stations are showing winds in the 30-40mph range, but these should calm down in the afternoon as the winds veer back to the northwest.  Snow surface conditions are a settled 6” or so on top of various crusts, with perhaps the best snow found in sheltered mid-elevation areas.


Avalanche Conditions:

With good turning and riding conditions and a generally low avalanche danger, backcountry travelers yesterday swarmed nearly every nook and cranny in the Wasatch.  Some reported minor sluffing in the new snow and I suspect that sluffing on the steep slopes will become more widespread today as the snow surface has been weakening under clear cold conditions.  By its very nature, faceting in the upper layers of the snowpack prevents settlement and consolidation, and any loose snow avalanches today will run farther and entrain more snow.  Best to avoid being knocked off your feet or machine and carried over a cliff band, into some trees or deposited in a terrain trap.  Keep in mind as well that we do have a few of the ingredients set up for an avalanche: most of the light density snow/surface facets are sitting on top of an underlying wind or sun crust.  A significant shot of snow would easily tip the scales.  


 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 still be possible to trigger a shallow wind drift.  These will be confined to the highest elevations on slopes steeper than 35 degrees. 


Mountain Weather:

As most of the energy of a storm moves past to the north, Utah can expect to see increasing clouds this morning and maybe squeeze an inch or two out of it today or tonight.  Winds will be 20-30mph out of the west this morning, shifting to the northwest by afternoon and dropping to 10-15mph.  8000’ temperatures will be 20 degrees with 10,000’ temps in the mid-teens.  We’ll be in a moist northwest flow with light snow expected Tuesday and Wednesday, with the return of fair weather on Thanksgiving.  Another storm is on track for the weekend.


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. 


Andrew McLean 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: