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.



Thursday, January 19, 20067:30am
Good morning, this is Bruce Tremper with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.Today is Thursday, January 19, 2006, and itís about 7:30 am.


Current Conditions:
In the Cottonwoods, only 2-4 inches of snow fell overnight with about a foot in the past 24 hours with 6 inches in the Provo area mountains.  Snow densities are around 7 percent water weight.  For those headed to the Logan area mountains, they got a couple feet of snow in the past 30 hours.  The flow has switched out of the north and winds have been quite calm overnight.   Although the airmass is very moist, the center of the low pressure is right over the top of us, and there just isn't enough wind to push the moist air up the mountains.  The main plumes of snow are coming off the Great Salt Lake and going straight south.  Ridge top winds have been 5 mph overnight from the north but have picked up to 10 mph this morning.  Ridge top temperatures are cold, around 10 degrees.  People reported excellent riding conditions yesterday with some moderately difficult trail breaking.


Avalanche Conditions:
Yesterday afternoon while the snow was falling fast and furious, one avalanche worker was able to intentionally ski cut several, sensitive, soft slabs on a south facing slope in Big Cottonwood Canyon at 8,200'.  These slides were around a foot deep and 100' wide and some were sympathetically triggering other avalanches.  Also, yesterday during the strong wind in the morning, an avalanche worker near the Sundance Ski Resort in the Provo area mountains was able to intentionally ski cut a hard slab avalanche 1' deep x 150' wide on a steep, northeast facing slope at 9,200' PHOTO 1; PHOTO2.   I expect that most of these instabilities will have settled out by today, but some will still linger.

Bottom Line:

Overall MODERATE danger today from lingering soft slabs and wind slabs within the new snow.  Although it is not forecasted to do so, if snow or wind increases significantly throughout the day, the danger could rise to CONSIDERABLE.

Mountain Weather:

Although the airmass is very moist and unstable, the center of the low pressure is right over the top of us, and there just isn't enough wind to push the moist air up the mountains.Although itís a tricky situation, I expect just light snow for the Salt Lake area mountains.  Ridge top winds should be around 10 mph from the north with ridge top temperatures around 10 degrees.  Down at 8,000' the high today should be around 20 degrees.  Friday should be a good call-in-sick-for-work day.  Then, we expect a weak storm on Saturday, then warm and sunny until we get another storm a week from Today.



Craig Gordon will give an avalanche awareness talk tonight at Westminster College at 7:30


3rd Annual Backcountry Awareness Week Monday Jan 30-Sunday February 5
Fundraising Dinner February 3rd at 6pm with speakers Conrad Anker and Apa Sherpa.For more info, go to www.backcountryawareness.com or call Snowbird at 933-2147.


Check out our new graphical advisory format.You can update your bookmarks to this link:

Click HERE for a text only version of the avalanche advisory.

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 Wasatch Powderbird Guides did not fly yesterday, and if they can fly today, theyíll be in Cardiff, Days, Silver, Grizzly and American Fork.For more info, call 742-2800.

Please report any backcountry snow and avalanche conditions.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.

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