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:


For photos of avalanches and avalanche activity, visit:http://www.avalanche.org/%7Euac/photos_03-04.htm†††† (Updated 3/25)

Photos sent in by observers throughout the season visit:http://www.avalanche.org/~uac/obphotos/observer.html†††† (Updated 4/2)

For a list of backcountry avalanche activity, visit:http://www.avalanche.org/%7Euac/Avalanche_List.htm†††† (Updated 3/31)


Avalanche INFORMATION - afternoon update

Tuesday, April 27, 20046:00 pm


Good afternoon, this is Drew Hardesty with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with an afternoon update.Today is Tuesday, April 27 and itís 6:00pm.This information is time sensitive and will expire by Wednesday evening.Click here to see our standard end of the year bulletin which has links to weather sites and information as well as some general tips and guidelines for the spring avalanche season.


Current Conditions:

If youíre getting this information Tuesday night, youíll have a head start to swap out your warm wax for cold and floppy sun hat for neck gaiter. All the weather models are pointing toward a strong cold front that should arrive mid morning on Wednesday accompanied by periods of heavy snow. Itíll be a relief from todayís mountain temperatures in the 50ís and 60ís - ridgetop temps should plummet to the high teens/low twenties by tomorrow afternoon.


Avalanche Conditions:

The past few days of intense heat and calm winds produced the usual wet activity, including a couple wet slab pockets pulling out above the old melt freeze crust. But like last week, the cold temps will put a lid on the wet activity as we change gears to new dry snow avalanches and sensitive wind slabs.Itís likely that the new snow will bond well with the old snow surfaces, but presuming snowfall rates have bursts of intensity, avalanches will run within the new snow.The bad news is that the new snow is expected to be accompanied by moderate to strong winds out of the northwest that should eventually veer to the north and then east by late Thursday.If we get 6Ē accompanied by these winds, wind slabs will be localized and pockety; if we pick up 6-12Ē or more, look for things to be more sensitive and widespread. Natural activity may be possible.The bulk of the precip should arrive the central Wasatch by Wednesday through early Thursday.As always, be alert for changing conditions, haul your rescue gear back out of the closet and donít slack on solid backcountry protocol. Last weekís flashback to winter had its share of sizeable avalanches and close calls.


Lastly, remember that except for Snowbird, all of the ski areas are closed Ė therefore, youíll need to treat your favorite resort runs as the backcountry.


Mountain Weather:

By now youíve got the big picture on the storm, but the devilís in the details. Strong southwesterly prefrontal winds should kick up tonight through tomorrow morning where gusts could reach into the 60ís or more. Tonightís 8000í temperatures will be in the mid-thirties with 10,000í lows dropping to the around 40. 20-30 mph winds are expected post frontal as the flow shifts northwest by midmorning Wednesday. ††At this point, the models are not in agreement on where the trof forms a closed Low after the main trof moves through tomorrow, but showers can be expected through Thursday. Areas that should receive the lionís share are the central and southern Utah mountains as well as the central and eastern Uintas. Itís back to high pressure for the weekend as ridgetop temps again push back into the low 40ís.

Backcountry snow and avalanche information is still useful to us.So if youíre still getting out and see anything of interest, leave us a message at 524-5304, 1 800-662-4140, drop us an email at [email protected], or a fax to 524-6301.The information in this advisory is from the US Forest Service, which is solely responsible for its content.This advisory describes general avalanche conditions and local variations always occur.