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:


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Tuesday, November 02, 2004 3:30 pm


Good afternoon, this is Evelyn Lees with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather information. Today is Tuesday, November 2nd, 2004, and its 3:30 pm. Well be issuing intermittent afternoon bulletins into mid November. The annual Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center ski swap is this Saturday, November 6th, at the Salt Lake REI on 33rd south. Doors opening at 9am. Gear drop off will be on Thursday and Friday evenings, from 5:30 to 8 pm.


Current Conditions:

The end of October acted like winter, and now the first week of November is acting like spring. A high pressure ridge is over northern Utah, and temperatures have rapidly warmed into the mid 30s to near 40 at both 8 and 10,000. Winds are light, from the north, generally less than 10 mph. The hoped for Wednesday storm now looks like it will split before it gets to Utah, and only drop temperatures a degree or two. The sunny slopes are wet and sloppy during the heat of the day, and are well crusted as they cool each night. Settled powder remains on the shady, northerly facing slopes, but has shrunk in area.


Avalanche Conditions

With an abrupt halt in precipitation, most of the avalanche activity also ceased. Natural wet sluffs have been reported on steep, sunny slopes, with the longest running in the big, steep terrain in the Provo area mountains.


While I expect only minor avalanche activity during the next few days, there are a few problems to be aware of. First, if the winds pick up, be alert for fresh drifts of wind blown snow, and avoid them on steep slopes. Second, the surface snow will be weakening and sluffing on the shady slopes, and these sluffs may get large enough to catch and carry a person. And finally, as the snow heats up each day, watch out for the possibility of wet snow sluffs on steep, sunny slopes. If you are on a steep slope that is getting wet and sloppy, its time to switch to a cooler aspect, and avoid travel below steep sunny slopes in the heat of the day.


Remember, for the most part, the unopened ski areas are not doing control work, and are just as dangerous as the backcountry.


Mountain Weather:

A mild, southerly flow will dominate the weather through the end of the week. 10,000 temperatures will be right around freezing for the next few days; 8,000 elevations will have highs near 40 and lows in the mid 20s. Winds will be from a southerly direction and generally light, in the 10 to 20 mph range. The next chance for snow looks to be around the middle of next week.



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.

Well update this forecast Friday, and thanks for calling.