partnership with: The Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center, Utah Department of
Public Safety Division of Comprehensive Emergency Management,
and Utah State Parks:
To have this advisory automatically e-mailed
to you each day free of charge, visit: http://www.mailermailer.com/x?oid=16351h
For photos of avalanches and
avalanche phenomenon, visit: http://www.avalanche.org/%7Euac/photos_03-04.htm (Updated
Photos sent in by observers
throughout the season visit: http://www.avalanche.org/~uac/obphotos/observer.html (Updated
For a list of backcountry avalanche
activity, visit: http://www.avalanche.org/%7Euac/Avalanche_List.htm (Updated
morning preliminary information by about 6:00 am:
Saturday, March 20, 2004, 7:30 am
morning, this is Evelyn Lees with the Forest Service
Center with your
backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory. Today is Saturday, March 20, 2004, and it’s 7:30
a.m. This forecast is brought to you in
partnership with the Friends of the Utah
supported in part by Black
We have issued a Special Avalanche Advisory for the mountains of northern Utah through at least Sunday. The warm weather expected through early next
week has increased the danger of wet avalanches, and backcountry travelers
should stay off of and out from under steep slopes.
It is a downright toasty first day of spring. In the Salt
Lake and Park City
mountains, temperatures are currently in the upper 30’s to mid 40’s at the 9 to
11,000’ elevations. The Provo
and Ogden area mountains
are even warmer, with temperatures in the 40 to 48 degree range. The westerly winds have been decreasing, and
are in the 10 to 15 mph range across the higher ridges and peaks.
Skies are clear this morning, and there is a shallow
refreeze of the snow surface above about 9,000’ in the Salt
Lake and Park City
mountains. The window of frozen crusts
will be very short lived this morning, and this thin solid outer layer will rapidly
soften, and the snow will soon become slushy and punchy, especially in shallow
The main concern is the transition from wet sluffs
to wet slab avalanches, which have a potential to be very large and long
running. With a series of nonfreezing
nights and hot days forecast, I expect the snowpack to become unglued somewhere
in the northern Utah
mountains over the next few days. Sunday and Monday will have the greatest
potential for dangerous wet slab and glide avalanches. We are especially worried about any thin snow
pack areas throughout the northern Utah
mountains, especially in the Uintas, and on west
through north through east facing slopes. Early starts will not cure the wet slab
and glide avalanche problems. When the
snowpack starts melting 24 hours/day, avalanche can occur at all hours. Stay off of and out from under steep, snow
covered slopes both during the day and at night. Picnics in gullies and below steep slopes,
such as at Lisa Falls, must be avoided.
Line for the Salt Lake AND Park CITY AREA MOUNTAINS:
While the avalanche danger will be low very early this morning, it will rapidly rise to MODERATE with daytime heating, and may reach CONSIDERABLE. Backcountry travelers should stay off of and
out from under steep slopes.
Line for the OGDEN and PROVO AREA MOUNTAINS:
The avalanche danger is moderate this morning, and will rise to considerable with day time heating. Natural avalanche activity is possible.
Uinta Mountains: For Uinta specific information, click on Western
Uintas on the advisory page or
click HERE or call
The ridge of high pressure will strengthen over northern
Sunday, and the unseasonably warm temperatures will persist. Highs today will be in the low 50’s at 8,000’
and the mid 40’s at 10,000’. The
westerly winds will decrease into the 5 to 10 mph range by this afternoon. Temperatures will be even warmer tonight through
Sunday night, with 10,000’ free air temperatures in the upper 40’s and 8,000’
highs reaching the mid 50’s on Sunday. Winds
will remain light, from the southwest. Temperatures
will cool slightly mid week, with the first chance for snow or rain around
For specific digital forecasts for the Salt Lake, Provo or Ogden
mountains, CLICK HERE.
Grizzly Gulch and Twin Lakes pass area will be congested this morning as 150
racers work their way between Alta and Brighton
in the Wasatch PowderKeg event.
Wasatch Powderbird Guides flew in Snake Creek, American Fork and Cascade Ridge
with an alpine tour to Box Elder yesterday, and will not be flying today.
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
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
Hardesty will update this advisory Sunday morning.
National Weather Service -
Salt Lake City - Snow.