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.



Tuesday, December 06, 2005  7:30am
Good morning, this is Brett Kobernik with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Today is Tuesday, December 06, 2005, and it’s about 7:30 am.

Up coming avalanche awareness talks by the UAC staff include:
Dec 6    7 pm       Full Throttle Power Sports  240 N Frontage Rd, Centerville
Dec 6    7 pm       Black Diamond Retail  2092 E 3900 S, SLC
Dec 7    7 pm       Lady of the Snows, Alta
Dec 13  7 pm        REI, 3285 E, 3300 S, SLC
Dec 14  6:60 pm  Mnt High Motorsports, 8262 S Redwood Rd, West Jordan
Dec 14  7 pm        South Valley Unitarian, 6876 S Highland Dr. 

Current Conditions:   
As a storm system approaches, ridgetop temperatures are dipping into the single digits with ridge top winds around 20 mph from the northwest with gusts into the 50s at the more exposed locations.  Snow is just starting to fall in the mountains.

Avalanche Conditions:
It looks like we dodged a bullet over the last week.  With plenty of weak snow deeper in the pack, we never received a large enough new load at a rapid enough rate for things to come totally unglued.  However, no avalanche worker that I know has dismissed the buried faceted snow as of now.  This problem remains a concern for today.  With a lot of folks out yesterday reporting improved stability, you can still find areas where the snowpack is collapsing.  This is a sure sign of unstable snow.  This problem is most pronounced in areas that had a thin snowpack prior to Thanksgiving.  You also may still find some problems in thin areas of the upper Cottonwoods where the snowpack is the deepest, but, the problem is more “pockety” in nature there.

You will also want to pay attention to drifting of the new snow that will fall during the day.  The new snow will be light density but with gusty winds, this snow can get blown into thick drifts that could be sensitive to the weight of a person. 

Bottom Line:
The avalanche danger is MODERATE however, keep in mind that triggering an avalanche that breaks into older snow could be disastrous.  Also, the danger will be on the rise during the day with the new snow and gusty winds expected.  Watch for cracking in fresh drifts especially along the upper ridges on northeast through southeast aspects.   

Mountain Weather: 
You’ll want to bundle up and hang on to your hats as ridgetop temperatures will remain in the single digits with ridgetop wind speeds from the northwest in the 20 to 25 mph range.  Strong winds will not be as pronounced lower in the drainages.  Snow will fall throughout the day with 4 to 8 inches possible.  The artic air mass moves in tonight dropping ridgetop temperatures to around zero.  This cold period will be short lived and temperatures will warm Thursday as a ridge of high pressure sets in.



Please report any backcountry snow and avalanche conditions you observe.  We appreciate all information.  You can call (801) 524-5304 or 1-800-662-4140, or email to [email protected] or fax to 801-524-6301.  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.

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 annual report for 2004-05 is now on the web. (Click HERE, 8mb)

Evelyn Lees will update this advisory by 7:30 Wednesday morning.  Thanks for calling.