In partnership with: The Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center, Utah Department of Public Safety Division of Comprehensive Emergency Management,
Monday, October 25, 2004 5:30 pm
Good evening, this is Evelyn
Lees with the
A weak, upper level trough over
“Instant Winter” has also
turned into instant avalanche season, with numerous natural and easily skier
triggered slides reported today. Several
natural avalanches occurred in mid and upper Little Cottonwood, with debris
piles 2 to 5’ deep. Debris from three natural
slides was observed off Elk Point in the
While we should get a break from the precipitation tonight and most of tomorrow, wind speeds are forecast to increase into the 30 to 40 mile range ahead of the next storm. With abundant snow to blow around, I expect the winds to rapidly drift large amounts of snow and create very sensitive wind drifts or wind slabs. These fresh drifts of wind blown snow will be easily triggered by people, and another round of natural avalanche activity is possible.
Remember, the unopened ski areas are not doing control work, and are just as dangerous as the backcountry. Also, some ski areas may start posting closures so they can prepare to open, so please obey all signs. Alta will close their area to uphill traffic starting Tuesday evening for control work and construction, with the closure lasting through the next storm.
The avalanche danger is CONSIDERABLE, with natural avalanches possible, and human triggered avalanches probable. If the winds increase Tuesday as forecast, the avalanche danger will rise HIGH Tuesday, with both natural and human triggered avalanches likely. The most activity will be on steep, wind loaded slopes. With natural activity possible, backcountry travelers, including hunters, need to be aware of what is above them and avoid travel in runout zones.
Stormy weather will continue through out the week, with temperatures cooling Thursday and Friday. Tonight, there will be a few lingering snow showers, with lows near 25 at 8,000’. Winds will be from the southwest and increase to near 30 mph by morning. Tuesday will be mostly cloudy, with snow developing late in the day. Winds will be strong out of the south, and highs will near 40 at 8,000’. Heavy precipitation should begin by Tuesday night and continue through Wednesday on a strong, moist southwesterly flow. A cold front will cross the area early Thursday, shifting to a cool, moist west to northwest flow through Friday. A colder storm is expected to move into the area Saturday night into Monday.
If you are getting out, drop us a line or an email with any reports or observations from the backcountry. You can leave us a message at 524-5304 or 1 800-662-4140. Email us 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.