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


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Avalanche advisory

Thursday, DECEMBER 11, 2003   7:30 am


Good morning, this is Evelyn Lees with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Today is Thursday, December 11th 2003, and it’s 7:30 a.m. 


We’re giving two free avalanche awareness talks next week – one on Tuesday, the 16th, at the Salt Lake REI and the second on Thursday, the 18th, at the Sandy REI.  Both start at 7pm.


Current Conditions:

Yesterday’s weak disturbance fizzled out rather rapidly.  The winds quieted down by noon, and snowfall was severely limited to a few inches in the last 24 hours.  This morning, skies are mostly cloudy, and temperatures are in the low to mid teens.  The winds are from a westerly direction, and are averaging less than 10 mph.  If you’re hunting for powder, most shady slopes still have good turning and riding conditions, with a bit of wind damage along the higher ridges.  The steeper sunny slopes are crusted from Tuesday.


Avalanche Conditions:

The winds transported less snow than I expected, and backcountry reports indicated only pockety, shallow wind slabs, mostly confined to the higher ridges.  So, as you’re traveling today, watch out for and avoid any hard, cracky wind slabs on steep slopes.  These drifts will be most common along the ridges crests, on northerly through easterly facing slopes, but there could be a few scattered drifts midslope, too.  Fortunately, the majority of the terrain escaped the wind, and on these slopes the avalanche danger remains low, with surface sluffing the greatest hazard.


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

The avalanche danger is MODERATE on slopes steeper than 35 degrees with recent deposits of wind drifted snow.  Out of the wind affected terrain, the avalanche danger is LOW.


Mountain Weather:

An upper level low is going to slide down through central California and move inland across Arizona.  This pattern will keep some moisture over northern Utah, and the mountains will have mostly cloudy skies with periods of light snow through midnight.   Winds will remain light, from the west to northwest.  High temperatures today will be near 20 at 8000’ and near 15 at 10,000’, and then cool into the low teens tonight.  The weather will be unsettled Friday and Saturday, with partly cloudy skies, occasional snow showers.  Winds will increase Saturday ahead of the next cold front which will be Sunday into 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 avalanche workshops 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. 


Andrew will update this advisory on Friday 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: