Wasatch Cache National Forest

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Avalanche advisory

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


Current Conditions:

If Thanksgiving was the party, then clearly yesterday was the hangover.  It rained and misted up to 11,000’ yesterday for about an hour or so just after noon.  It wasn’t much, registering at 1 or 2/100th of an inch, but it doesn’t take much.  The snow surfaces were dampened from the rain/mist and the abnormally warm temperatures from Ogden to Provo and I cringe thinking of how the January 6th 2002 rain event haunted us for the rest of that winter.  I hope it plays out differently this year.  Mountain temperatures are still balmy and are in the upper twenties to mid-thirties.  Winds are light and out of the southwest.  This morning’s radar is showing light wet precipitation in the mountains, but by the time you wake up, it’ll have passed and we’ll see mostly cloudy skies.  Those looking for personal growth and character-enhancing opportunities will find them (and solitude) in the mountains today.


Avalanche Conditions:

The rain only produced some minor wet activity yesterday.   The mid and low elevations had wet point releases on steep rocky slopes and in the upper elevations, you could entrain some wet pinwheels and rollerballs while skiing or riding on steeper slopes.   And so while the rain played no immediate role in significant avalanche activity yesterday, it may lay the groundwork for problems for the rest of the season.  Rain crusts are notorious not only as a slick sliding surface for avalanches, but for creating an environment for weak faceted snow to develop above and sometimes below the crust.  Is this a foregone conclusion?  Well, as they say, ‘it depends on the weather’.   At this point, it’s all speculation.  For now, our snowpack is generally stable, but for the continued likelihood of wet point release activity on the mid and low elevation slopes.  


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

The avalanche danger is LOW today in all areas with the exception of MODERATE danger of wet sluffs at lower elevations because of the rain, lack of a refreeze, and warmer temperatures. 


Mountain Weather:

We’ll have mostly cloudy skies today with continued warm temperatures and light southwesterly winds.  8000’ temps will be in the lower 40’s with 10,000’ temps in the mid-thirties.  We look to cool off Monday night as a cold front moves through that should produce a few inches of snow and return temperatures to normal.  After that, the rest of the week looks dry.



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:

We will be giving three free avalanche awareness talks over the next couple of weeks – one at the Salt Lake REI, Tuesday, December 2nd at 7 pm, one at Kirkham’s, Saturday, December 6th, at 7pm, and another at Black Diamond on Tuesday December 9th at 7pm.


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 on 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: