In partnership with: The Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center, Utah Department of Public Safety Division of Comprehensive Emergency Management, Salt Lake County, and Utah State Parks
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Good morning, this is Bruce
Tremper with the
will be giving a free Avalanche Awareness talk this Saturday, December 6th,
at 7pm, at Kirkham’s, located at
If you’re calling or reading this advisory then you can safely count yourself as one of the hard-core avalanche advisory junkies. And no, there are still no avalanches and no weather, so if you want to quit reading or hang up right now, I won’t be offended. But if you must…the backcountry snow surface conditions are quite a mixed bag with old wind slabs up high along the wind-exposed ridges, sun crusts on slopes that face the south half of the compass and believe it or not, there’s still some places with 3-6 inches of soft, dry, creamy and recrystalized snow that you could confuse with powder if you were from out of state. You’ll find this soft, dry snow mostly down off the ridges at mid elevation, open or gladed tree slopes that face north through east. This morning, temperatures are 20-25 along the ridges and the high temperature yesterday was around freezing or just above. The winds this morning are blowing only about 10 mph from the west.
It’s a dull day in the avalanche world with very stable snow. These are good conditions to go exploring that new terrain you’ve always wanted to get into but have been too scared to try these past few years. However, watch out for some of the old wind slabs on steep slopes. They are mostly old and have dissipated all their tension but you may be able to find a few that you can still crack out. When you’re out today, it’s also important to think about the future and carefully map the snow surface conditions in your mind so that you’ll know what will be buried under the new snow we expect for later in the weekend. On the shady slopes, the clear skies continue to make the snow surface weaker and weaker through what we call “diurnal recrystallization” and this may be persistent weak layer when we slam some weight down on it with out next storm. Also, the snow in the thinner snowpack areas continues to rot out and is now intermediate-sized depth hoar crystals, which is always a nasty foundation for any snowpack.
Bottom Line (
There is a LOW avalanche danger today, with both natural and human triggered avalanches unlikely.
Today, we’ll have another warm, sunny day with ridge top temperatures 30-35 degrees and 8,000’ temperatures around 40. Ridge top winds will blow 10-15 mph from the west, turning southwest later in the day. The only big news around here is an approaching storm for this weekend. On Friday, we should get the usual pre-storm weather with strong, warm winds from the southwest. We may see a few spits of rain on Friday even up to the highest elevations and then the freezing level will slowly lower on Saturday with light rain in the valleys and snow in the mountains. We expect the cold front to pass on Sunday, which will bring snow to the valley floor and then continued snow on Monday. Then we may get another storm on about Wednesday.
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:
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.
You can sign-up for the 3-day classes offered by the Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center at The Black Diamond Store (2092 E. 3900 S.; 278-0233). The classes are being held Jan. 17-19 and Feb. 14-16.
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 on Friday morning.
Thanks for calling.
For more detailed weather information go to our Mountain Weather Advisory
For an explanation of avalanche danger ratings: