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



Monday, November 07, 2005  3pm
Good afternoon, this is Evelyn Lees with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather bulletin.  Today is Monday, November 7th, 2005 and it’s 3pm.  We’d like to give a big thanks to everyone who made the Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center’s Ski Swap a success on Saturday.  Tonight is the last chance to pick up equipment that didn’t sell, plus get your money from that which did.  Please drop by REI between 6 and 8 pm. 

Current Conditions:   
Northern Utah is under a mild, increasingly moist southwest flow ahead of an approaching Pacific storm system.  Temperatures have been above freezing at 9,500’ since Sunday morning, and are currently in the mid 30’s.  Winds have also been increasing, and are from a southerly direction in the 15 to 25 mph range, with gusts to 50 across the more exposed terrain.

Our sparse “snowpack” consists of 12 to 18” on shady slopes above about 9500’ in the upper Cottonwoods, with equal or greater amounts at the higher elevations in the Provo mountains.  The Ogden mountains generally have less than a foot of snow on the ground.  Snow cover is minimal on the southerly facing slopes.  In the Cottonwoods, the snow is encrusted with a thin breakable ice crust from a rain/rime event Saturday night, creating some challenging turning conditions.

Avalanche Discussion: 
A backcountry snowboard fatality Sunday in Colorado illustrates if there is enough snow to ride, there’s enough to slide.  So carry a beacon and shovel, and travel one at a time on steep slopes.  Also think consequences – if the slope should slide, what will happen?  Even a small slide could slam you into one of the many exposed rocks.

We are not rating the backcountry avalanche danger at this time. But tomorrow’s storm should produce enough snow to officially push us into the avalanche season.  I expect the new snow to bond poorly to the icy crusts, with slides running above or just below the ice crust.  This problem will be most wide spread on steep northwest through easterly facing slopes above about 9,500’.  As the snow builds up tomorrow, approach any slope steeper than about 35 degrees with great caution.  Also avoid any steep slope with recent drifts of wind blown snow.  These drifts will be found both along the ridges and cross loaded around terrain features such as rocks and gully walls.  Hopefully, the warm temperatures will help the bonding at the mid elevations. 

Mountain Weather: 
The approaching storm system should reach northern Utah late tonight.  A trace to an inch of snow is possible tonight, with 8,000’ lows in the mid 30’s.  The southwesterly winds will continue to increase, with hourly averages in the 30’s and 40’s and gusts near 70.  The bulk of the snow will fall on Tuesday, with 8 to 12” possible, and the rain/snow line lowering to 7,500’.  Moderate to strong westerly winds, with temperatures falling from the mid 30’s into the upper 20’s.  A few snow showers may linger into Wednesday, with cooler temperatures.       

You can also check out the National Weather Service web site for other weather forecasting products (http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/slc/).

Click HERE for a season history chart by month.

To have this advisory automatically e-mailed to you each day, click HERE.  (You must re-sign up this season even if you were on the list last season.)

The Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center Home page is: http://www.utahavalanchecenter.com

We are looking for feed back on our MOCK-UP of our new advisory format.  Let us know what you think!  http://www.avalanche.org/~uac/newadvisory

We will update this forecast again on Tuesday afternoon.

Thanks for calling.