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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Sunday, November 21, 2004 7:00 pm         


Good evening, this is Evelyn Lees with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather information.  Today is Sunday, November 21st, 2004, and it’s7:00 pm.  We’ll be issuing intermittent bulletins for about another week, and then may go to a regular morning schedule by Thanksgiving, weather cooperating.  


Current Conditions: 

Under clear skies, temperatures reached into the 30’s today, and will drop into the mid teens tonight.  Across the highest ridges, the easterly winds peaked in the 20 to 30 mph range, with gusts 30 to 40 mph.  On the wind sheltered shady slopes above about 9,000’ the recrystallized snow is topped-off with 1 to 3” of new fluff for enjoyable turning and riding conditions.  Other sunnier slopes are a challenging mix of breakable and supportable crusts.


Avalanche Conditions:

Today’s main avalanche problem was the sensitive new drifts of wind blown snow.  The larger drifts averaged 40 to 60’ wide and about a foot deep.  The were pockety in distribution, and found both along ridgelines and cross loaded lower in open bowls around terrain features such as the sides of gullies.  These slides are large enough to knock you off your feet or take you for a ride if they surprised you or break above you.  I expect these pockety wind slabs to remain sensitive on Monday.  The winds will increase again Monday afternoon through Tuesday, creating another batch of shallow, but sensitive wind drifts. So continue to avoid any fresh drifts of wind blown snow, especially on steep, shady slopes.


Mountain Weather:

The next weak cold front will affect northern Utah Monday night into Tuesday.  On Monday, there will be increasing clouds and light winds, with speeds less than 10 mph.  High temperatures on Monday will be near 35 at 8,000’ and near 25 at 10,000’.  The winds will shift to the northwest and increase Monday night and Tuesday, into the 15 to 25 mph range.  10,000’ temperatures will drop back down into the mid teens and scattered snow showers may add another inch or two of snow as the front passes.  A more interesting storm is in the forecast for around Thanksgiving.


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 send 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. 

Thanks for calling.