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.

 

AVALANCHE ADVISORY

Tuesday, December 13, 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 13, 2005, and its about 7:30 am.

The beacon locator park at Snowbird is now open and free to the public. Its sponsored by Wasatch Backcountry Rescue and Snowbird and located just off the bypass road in upper Little Cottonwood Canyon.

Upcoming avalanche awareness talks by the UAC staff include:
Dec 13 7 pm REI, 3285 E, 3300 S, SLC
Dec 14 6:30 pm Mountain High Motorsports, 8262 S Redwood Rd, West Jordan
Dec 14 7 pm Wasatch Mtn Club: South Valley Unitarian, 6876 S Highland Dr.

Current Conditions:
A weak storm system will affect the Wasatch Mountains today. In the meantime, ridgetop temperatures are around 20 degrees and ridgetop wind speeds are 10 to 15 mph from the southwest.

Avalanche Conditions:
Yesterday was another quiet day avalanche wise with the only activity being some wet point releases on southerly aspects. Things will change somewhat today with a small amount of wind and snow in the forecast. The new snow will probably not add enough weight to overload any buried weak layers but you will want to pay attention to the new snow and old snow interface. With a variety of crusts and loose snow on the current surface, you will want to perform a few tests to see how the new snow is bonding. Slope cuts can be very effective in fresh snow as well as shovel tilt tests (Explanations found here: 2.8 Slope Cut Testing & Figure 2.18; 2.9.8 Shovel Tilt Test & Figure 2.19a).

Bottom Line:
The avalanche danger is mostly LOW this morning but keep in mind that as the snow piles up the danger of new snow avalanches will be increasing and may reach MODERATE by this afternoon especially if we receive more snow then is forecasted. Watch for fresh wind drifts forming along the upper ridges throughout the day as these may be sensitive to the weight of a person.

Mountain Weather:
Today well see mostly cloudy skies with snow showers starting late this morning and continuing through the afternoon. Up to 4 inches of snow is possible. Ridgetop temperatures will drop into the upper teens and ridgetop wind speeds will be in the 20 mph range from the west switching to the northwest in the afternoon.

 

Snow showers may linger into the evening with a trace to a few additional inches of snow. Ridgetop temperatures will continue to drop and reach the single digits overnight with ridgetop wind speeds decreasing as well.

 

Were back to high pressure for the next few days with a small chance of another brush-by system possible by the weekend.

Regional Snow Profile (this profile can also be found daily off our home page under avalanche products)

Seasonal Weather History Charts.

Please report any backcountry snow and avalanche conditions you observe. Call (801) 524-5304 or 1-800-662-4140, email [email protected] or fax 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.)

UDOT also has a highway avalanche control work hotline for Little Cottonwood road, which is updated as needed. 801-975-4838.

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.