In partnership with: The Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center, Utah Department of Public Safety Division of Comprehensive Emergency Management,
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Thursday, December 09, 2004 7:30 Am
morning, this is Evelyn Lees with the
An Avalanche Warning remains in effect for the northern
Snow continues to fall in the mountains this morning, with storm totals now in the 2 to 4 foot range. The snow water equivalents are astounding – averaging 3” to over 6”. Winds were strong from the southwest yesterday, averaging 20 to 40 mph. Recently, they have shifted to the northwest and are in the 15 to 30 mph range, with gusts in the 40’s. Temperatures have warmed 5 to 10 degrees since yesterday morning, and are in the mid to upper 20’s. The warm temperatures and wind inverted the snow, putting a layer of dense heavy snow on top of yesterday’s lighter snow.
storm has slammed the buried weak layers with just about every known contributory
factor there is to cause avalanches – lots of snow, enormous water weights, warming
temperatures, wind and rain falling on snow at the lower elevations. By yesterday afternoon, widespread avalanche
activity was reported from throughout the northern
The weak layers of surface hoar and facets are widespread. They are weakest at the lower and mid elevations, and in normally wind sheltered areas. Many slides have been occurring in terrain between 6,000 to 8,000 feet, in addition to in the upper elevations. Even in low elevation terrain, stay off of and out from under slopes steeper than about 30 degrees as it is possible to trigger slides from a distance. Large natural avalanches are occurring in some areas, so stay out from under steep slopes and avoid runout zones.
Ice Climbers – most northern Wasatch ice climbs are in avalanche tracks. With natural avalanche activity likely, ice climbing is not recommended.
Bottom Line (
The avalanche danger is HIGH to EXTREME on and below all slopes steeper than about 35 degrees, especially with recent deposits of wind drifted snow or areas receiving rain on snow. Both human triggered and natural avalanches are certain above about 6000 feet. Slopes of about 30 to 35 degrees have a CONSIDERABLE danger. Backcountry travel is not recommended.
moist westerly flow from the Pacific will continue to produce snow throughout
Remember that UDOT may conduct avalanche control operations above the highway in Little Cottonwood Canyon at any time and will likely do so this morning. For more information, call 801-742-2927 or 801-742-2033.
Bruce will be teaching a free avalanche awareness class tonight at
7:00 pm which is open to the public. It
is at the Mt.
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.
I will update this advisory by 7:30 Friday morning, and thanks for calling.