In partnership with: The Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center, Utah Department of Public Safety Division of Comprehensive Emergency Management,
Thursday, February 19, 2004, 7:30 am
morning, this is
The heavy rain overnight in the valleys added even
more water to our soggy low elevation snow.
This morning, the rain-snow line has lowered to the valley floor and
overnight the Cottonwood Canyons have picked up just a couple inches of snow
Yesterday was a schizophrenic day with wet slides down low and wind slabs up high. I have photos on the web if you’re interested. But the main problem was the wet slides. There was widespread wet sluffs yesterday on many of the steep slopes up to 8,000’ in elevation, with many leaving debris piles deep enough to really ruin your day. American Fork canyon is still closed this morning from wet slides and most of the other canyons had snow on or near the roads yesterday. There was a couple reports of wet sluffs covering recent snowshoe and ski tracks. With soaking rain overnight at lower elevations, the snow below about 7,500’ should still be very soggy this morning and it will take a few more hours before the colder temperatures calm down the wet activity at lower elevation. This morning, you should continue to avoid steep lower elevation slopes and terrain traps until things freeze up later in the day.
The second problem is that yesterday’s very strong
ridge top winds created localized areas of wind slabs. For instance, yesterday in the
Line for the Wasatch Range, including the
On steep slopes below about 7,500’ the danger of wet sluffs will be considerable again this morning lowering to LOW this afternoon as the snowpack freezes up. On upper elevation wind exposed terrain, you will find a MODERATE danger of hard wind slabs on any steep slope with recent deposits of wind drifted snow.
Snow should end today by noon in most areas leaving us with 3-6 inches of fresh snow, but it could linger until mid afternoon in the Cottonwoods with a foot of snow. Ridgetop temperatures should remain around 20 today with ridge to winds from the northwest and north around 15 mph. We should have clear skies tonight with ridge top winds from the east. Then we should have splitting system for Saturday with most of the energy going south of us but it should bring some moist air from the south and give us a few more light snow showers. The extended forecast calls for more of the same with unsettled weather with light snow showers with ridge top winds from the south for the next week or so.
For specific digital forecasts for the
Wasatch Powderbird Guides were grounded yesterday and, weather permitting, they
will fly in Mineral,
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 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 Friday morning.
Thanks for calling.