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:


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 3/16)

Photos sent in by observers throughout the season visit:  http://www.avalanche.org/~uac/obphotos/observer.html      (Updated 3/12)

For a list of backcountry avalanche activity, visit:  http://www.avalanche.org/%7Euac/Avalanche_List.htm     (Updated 3/9)


Early morning preliminary information by about 6:00 am: 801-364-1591


Avalanche advisory

Wednesday, March 24, 2004,   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, March 24, 2004, and it’s 7:30 a.m.  This forecast is brought to you in partnership with the Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center, supported in part by Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort.


Current Conditions:

A mild and unstable air mass is over northern Utah this morning.  Skies are partly cloudy, and temperatures are a few degrees cooler than yesterday at the same time.  They are in the upper 30’s at 9 and 10,000’, and close to freezing at 11,000’.  Winds are from the southwest and have recently increased into the 10 to 20 mph range, with gusts 25 to 35 mph.   


Snow conditions are uninspiring and hazardous, with a punchy, semi supportable surface that occasionally collapses beneath when you least expect, dropping you into the wet, loose mush below.    In addition, the snowpack is disappearing faster than your tax dollars.  So as you travel, carefully avoid the newly uncovered dirt, rocks and stumps on the steep sunny slopes and at mid and low elevations.


Avalanche Conditions:

Even the snowpack is getting bored of this hot weather.  It will still be possible to trigger wet loose sluffs on steep slopes today, but the frequency of natural wet sluffs, slabs and glide avalanches is decreasing.  In addition, today’s partly cloudy skies and moderate winds will help cool the snow.  Still, as you travel in the backcountry, continue to use good sense and caution by staying off of and out from under steep slopes, especially as they heat up with sun.


As temperatures cool and the snow surface refreezes at times today and tomorrow, it may be possible to trigger one of the unusual “corn slabs”.  This is when the frozen surface snow fails on the very wet, weak unconsolidated snow beneath it.


Bottom Line for the Salt Lake, Park CITY, Provo, ogden, and Uinta AREA MOUNTAINS:

The danger of wet snow avalanches is moderate on all slopes steeper than about 35 degrees. Moderate means human triggered avalanche are possible, and a few natural avalanches are not out of the question.


Uinta Mountains:  For Uinta specific information, click on Western Uintas on the advisory page or phone 1-800-648-7433.

Logan: click HERE or call 435-797-4146


Mountain Weather:

Once again it will feel like spring today, with mild temperatures and a build up of cumulus, possibly developing into thunderheads.  High temperatures will be near 40 at 10,000’ and in the mid 50’s at 8,000’.  The chance of isolated thunderstorms will continue into early this evening.  8 and 10,000’ temperatures will cool to near freezing tonight.  With skies clearing later tonight, Thursday morning should be the first decent refreeze we’ve had in days.  Thursday will sunny and warm, with increasing winds ahead of a disturbance that should reach northern Utah on Friday.


For specific digital forecasts for the Salt Lake, Provo or Ogden mountains, CLICK HERE.


General Information:

The Wasatch Powderbird Guides didn’t fly yesterday and will not be flying today.


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. 


Bruce Tremper will update this advisory Thursday morning.


Thanks for calling.