Wasatch Cache National Forest
In partnership with: Utah State Parks and Recreation, The Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center, Utah Department of Emergency Services and Homeland Security and Salt Lake County.


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Avalanche advisory

Thursday, March 03, 2005
Good morning, this is Evelyn Lees with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Today is Thursday March 3, 2005, and its 7:30 in the morning.

Current Conditions:
A pair of weak disturbances will drift over northern Utah today and tonight.  This morning, a blanket of clouds has helped to warm temperatures into the 20’s at most mountain locations.  The southeasterly winds continue to be light, 5 to 10 mph, with the highest peaks having gusts into the low 20’s.  Yesterday’s heat reduced the areas of soft snow a bit, but quality recrystalized powder remains on the shady, wind sheltered mid and upper elevation slopes.  Other slopes have a mix of mostly supportable crusts.

Avalanche Conditions:
he snow pack is mostly stable.  Generally predictable and manageable sluffs and shallow wind drifts are to be expected on steep slopes, so don’t get surprised in the wrong place.  And there are still a few steep slopes out there where you might trigger an avalanche into older snow if you were to add a sudden load.   These isolated pockets would be on northwest through east facing slopes, in areas with a shallower snowpack such as upper elevation rocky slopes or slopes that slid earlier in the season.  The southerly facing slopes are well crusted, and should remain cool enough today that wet slides are not a concern.

Bottom Line (Salt Lake, Park City, Provo, and Ogden mountains):
The avalanche danger is generally LOW, and human triggered avalanches are unlikely on most slopes.  There is a MODERATE danger on mid and upper elevation northwest through east facing slopes, approaching 40 degrees or steeper, especially with recent deposits of wind drifted snow.  (
http://www.avalanche.org/~uac/ed-scale.htm for an explanation of avalanche danger ratings.)

Mountain Weather: (You can find the afternoon Weather Update here.)
A rather unexciting weather pattern is setting up over northern Utah.  Today’s weak shortwave will bring mostly cloudy skies, with light snow showers over the next 24 hours adding up to an inch or less.  High temperatures today will be in the mid 30’s at 8,000’ and the low 20’s at 10,000’.  Winds will be light and variable.  A ridge of high pressure will move in late tonight, and remain through the middle of next week. Sporadic weak short waves dropping south will produce occasional cloudiness, and mountain snow showers will be few and far between. 

Wasatch Powderbird Guides operated in Cardiff, Mineral, Days, Silver, Grizzly and Cascade yesterday.  Today they will have one ship in Cardiff, Days, Mineral, Silver, and Grizzly with their second ship in Cascade and American Fork.

If you have any snow or avalanche observations, call and leave a message at 524-5304 or 1-800-662-4140, or e-mailing us at [email protected].  Fax is 524-6301.

UDOT COTTONWOOD CANYONS HOTLINE FOR ROAD CLOSURE AND AVALANCHE CONTROL INFORMATION: 975-4838.  We try to update our early morning avalanche activity report by around 5:30 am at 364-1591.

The information in this advisory is from the U.S. Forest Service, which is solely responsible for its content.  This advisory describes general avalanche conditions and local variations always occur.

Brett Kobernik will update this advisory by 7:30 on Friday morning.

Thanks for calling.

For an explanation of avalanche danger ratings: