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

Monday, April 04, 2005
Good morning, this is Brett Kobernik with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Today is Monday, April 04, 2005, and its 7:30 in the morning.Todayís advisory on our web page contains a user survey.Please take a few minutes to complete it so we can better our forecasts for you.The web site is utahavalanchecenter.com, click on Wasatch Range.

Current Conditions:
Overnight, temperatures did not cool off all that much with most 10,000 foot stations right around freezing or above.Winds are currently blowing about like they were during the day yesterday with ridgetop speeds in the 15 to 25 mph range from the southwest gusting into the 30s with stiffer gusts near 60 mph at the 11,000 foot stations.

Avalanche Conditions:
With a good stiff breeze yesterday, I noted that there was some loose snow blowing off the upper ridges that may have formed some patchy wind slabs.These wonít pose much threat today, however.

The bigger concern today is the warm, wet snowpack and what will happen with another foot or better of fresh snow on top of it.(Wet slab photo from Saturday)Most mid and upper elevation slopes will have a crust that formed overnight just from radiation cooling but with warm temperatures again last night, this crust will be thin and you will find wet snow underneath in many locations.As you travel today, make sure you are punching through into the old snow to check crust thickness and to check for loose, unconsolidated wet snow underneath. Mid and lower elevations along with southerly aspects at all elevations are more suspect.

As with any new snow event, you will want to check to see how well the new snow bonds with the current snow surface.Shovel tilt tests are an excellent way to check this.(Figure 2.19 & 2.9.8 Shovel Tilt Test)Quick hand pits and compression tests are also very effective.The winds are forecast to blow 20 to 30 mph during the storm today so you will need to watch for fresh wind slabs as well.

Bottom Line (Salt Lake and Park City, Ogden and Provo mountains):
This morning the avalanche danger is MODERATE but will be on the rise as the day progresses.Any avalanching involving damp snow is the big threat today.The storm most likely wonít put down enough snow until later in the day when the danger could reach CONSIDERABLE.

Danger Scale:http://www.avalanche.org/~uac/ed-scale.htm

Mountain Weather:
(You can find the afternoon Weather Update here.)
The timing of this storm is off for all you powder fiends as snow wonít stack up significantly until late afternoon then a ridge of high pressure builds in on Tuesday which will quickly turn any fresh snow to mashed potatoes.Flurries will start this morning with the main trof moving through around noon when winds will shift to the northwest and heavier snow will start.Temperatures will drop during the day to around 20 degrees at 10,000 feet.12 to 20 inches is possible for today and tonight.

Skies will clear on Tuesday and 8000 foot temperatures will reach 40.

Yesterday, the Powderbird guides were grounded due to weather and most likely wonít get out today.

UDOT COTTONWOOD CANYONS HOTLINE FOR ROAD CLOSURE AND AVALANCHE CONTROL INFORMATION: 975-4838.

If you are getting out, we appreciate your snowpack and avalanche observations.Please call and leave a message at 524-5304 or 1-800-662-4140, or e-mail us at [email protected].Fax is 524-6301.

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.

I will update this advisory by 7:30 on Tuesday morning.

Thanks for calling.