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

Wednesday, DECEMBER 24, 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 Wednesday, December 24th, 2003, and itís 7:30 a.m.


Current Conditions:

A cold Pacific storm is on track to clobber the northern Utah mountains starting Christmas Day. Ahead of the storm, the southwest winds have picked up into the 15 to 25 mph range, with gusts near 40 mph across the highest peaks.Temperatures this morning are in the low to mid 20ís at most elevations.Turning, riding and snowshoeing will continue to be very good today on wind sheltered shady slopes in fluffy, recrystalized powder on a supportable base. All the sunny slopes are well crusted, and the crusts may not soften under todayís cloudy skies.


Avalanche Conditions:

The main avalanche problem for today will be the fresh drifts of wind blown snow created by the southwesterly winds.These fresh drifts are landing on weak surface snow on the shady slopes or on slick crusts on the sunny slopes. So today, avoid any steep slopes with these denser slabs of snow that could crack and slide under the added weight of a person. These sensitive drifts will increase in depth and area as the day goes on, and will be most common and deepest along the upper elevation ridges.But also be alert for new drifts well off the ridgelines on steep breakovers, in open bowls and along gully side walls.In addition, there were continuing reports of respectable size sluffs on steep, shady terrain yesterday.


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

There is a MODERATE danger of human triggered avalanches on steep slopes with recent deposits of wind drifted snow.Moderate means human triggered avalanches are possible, and the areas of wind drifts will be much more widespread today.Out of the wind affected terrain or on slopes less steep than 30 degrees, the avalanche danger is LOW.


Uinta Mountains:A specific advisory for the Uinta mountains is being issued today. Click on western Uintas or phone 1-800-648-7433.


Mountain Weather:

A major winter storm is approaching northern Utah, and a heavy snow warning has been issued for the mountains beginning late this afternoon continuing through Friday. Ahead of the storm, there will be mostly cloudy skies today, with light snow beginning late this afternoon. The southwesterly winds will continue to blow today in the 15 to 25 mph range, with stronger gusts. Highs today will be in the mid 30ís at 8,000í and the mid 20ís at 10,000í. Tonight, 4 to 8Ē of snow is possible, with temperatures dropping into the low twenties.Winds will remain from the southwest.Christmas Day will be stormy, with an additional 6 to 10 inches of snow possible. The heaviest snowfall should be Thursday night into Friday, with the potential for lake enhanced snowfall to continue into Saturday.


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.


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



General Information:

The Wasatch Powderbird Guides flew in Mineral, Cardiff, Days, Silver and Grizzley yesterday, and if they can fly today they will be in Cardiff, Days and Silver Fork with homeruns and an avalanche class in Grizzly Gulch.


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 youíre 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.


Bruce Tremper will update this advisory on Christmas 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: