Wasatch Cache National Forest

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


: http://www.avalanche.org/~uac/

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Avalanche advisory

Friday, DECEMBER 5, 2003   7:30 am


Good morning, this is Andrew McLean with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Today is Friday, December 5th 2003, and it’s 7:30 a.m.


Current Conditions:

There’s a wide variety of fun turning and riding conditions in the backcountry right now, including old powder, carvable foam and supportable crusts.  The main problem is the transitions between all of these snow types, when it is either all of the above, or, none of the above.  Fortunately, easy trailbreaking means you can cover a lot of ground and the warm, clear weather makes it a great time to get out and look around in the mountains or do some higher elevation ski mountaineering.  Today, expect temperatures in the mid forties at 8,000’ and a 20% chance of snow, with totals expected to be about an inch at the most.  Winds will be moderate out of the south/southwest.


Avalanche Conditions:

In regards to avalanche conditions, all that glitters in the backcountry is NOT gold, and currently, if it is glittering, it is most likely surface hoar.  This is the same delicate crystal that caused high avalanche hazards earlier this season and with the past few cold, clear nights, it is returning in full force.  Although it is currently not a problem, it forms a hard to detect weak layer when new snow falls on top of it.  Surface hoar can be destroyed by warm weather, wind or rain, and there is now surface hoar galore above 8,000’.  


If you would like to learn more about surface hoar and its buried partner depth hoar, we will be giving a free lecture on Saturday, December 6th, at 7pm, at Kirkham’s, located at 3125 South State Street. 


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

The avalanche hazard is LOW today on all aspects and elevations.  This could change dramatically with the anticipated new snow over the weekend.


Mountain Weather:

The weather is setting up nicely for our current snowpack, with a very warm southwest flow remaining over the area through Saturday evening which will help break down the surface hoar. The snow level will be between 8,500 – 9,000 feet throughout today with a trace to 1” of snow expected, and near 7,500 feet tonight through Saturday evening.  Following that, a maritime polar air mass is tracking straight towards us which will bring the snow level down below 7,000 feet by Sunday morning. The cold front arrives early Sunday morning and should bring 48 hours of snow storms, with snow expected in the Salt Lake Valley through Monday.



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 Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center is offering two 3-day classes which are being held January 17-19 and February 14-16.  Information and sign-up sheets are available at the Black Diamond store (2092 E. 3900 S.; 278-0233).


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. 


Evelyn Lees will update this advisory on Saturday 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: