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

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 21, 2003 7:30 am


Good morning and Happy Solstice! This is Drew Hardesty with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory. Today is Sunday, December 21st, 2003, and its 7:30 a.m.


Current Conditions:

The first wave of a weak Pacific storm put down 3 of 5-7% density snow by 5am this morning and we can expect to pick up a few more inches of snow today before skies start to clear later tonight. Overnight winds have been generally less than 15mph out of the southwest and most reporting stations have temperatures in the low 30s. Snow surface conditions are variable with crusts, wind slab, and soft settled powder. Hopefully this storm will provide the mixing of the airmasses we need to rid us of the smog in the valleys.


Avalanche Conditions:

With no new avalanches or even a whisper of instability in the snowpack, alls quiet in the backcountry. The warm temps may have a positive effect on a couple of things one in the short term and another for the longer road. First, its likely that the warm temperatures will allow the new snow to bond well with the underlying snow surfaces. And second, it appears that the warmth from the past two days may have even promoted the healing of any weaknesses associated with the rime crusts. The second notion is a bit trickier so wed like to keep our eye on this for awhile. So for today, at least, Im not expecting the new snow to pose much of a hazard to backcountry travelers. Sluffing in the new snow may occur on the steepest slopes, but skiers and riders should find it manageable. If the winds exceed the expected 15mph, watch for shallow, yet sensitive wind drifts forming along the lee of ridgelines.


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

The avalanche danger is LOW .


Provo mountains: As the mid-elevation reporting stations are already reporting 5-7 of snow accompanied by stronger southwest winds, the danger is MODERATE on slopes steeper than 35 degrees with recent deposits of wind drifted snow. Elsewhere, the danger is LOW .


Mountain Weather:

We should see continued showery weather that may produce another 3 or so by the end of the day. The winds, currently out of the southwest in the 15mph range, should veer westerly and then northwesterly over the course of the day and remain light. 8000 temps will be in the high twenties with 10,000 temps in the low twenties. A ridge will develop over Utah as the storm moves east tonight, producing mild and sunny weather through Christmas. Apparently Santa thinks youve all been good this year, as it appears hes bringing in a long wave trough to settle down over the west just after Christmas day.



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:

The Wasatch Powderbird Guides will not be flying today due to weather.


If you get out early, each day we try to update our more detailed, early morning report with preliminary information by around 6:00 am at (801) 364-1591.


If you are getting into the backcountry, please give us a call and let us know what youre 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.


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: