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.



Friday, January 27, 2006  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 Friday, January 27, 2006, and it’s about 7:30 am.


          Current Conditions:

The current snow surface is a mix of sun crusts, wind crusts, and areas of loose sugary snow.  Mountain temperatures are in the mid teens to low 20s and ridgetop winds are from the south in the 15 to 25 mph range.


Avalanche Conditions:

A few people triggered some small wind slabs on Thursday but these were fairly harmless.  The largest was 30 feet wide and ran 200 feet in distance.  Our current focus is on the snow surface which is about to be covered up with new snow.  The various crusts have the potential to act as good bed surfaces while areas that have loose, faceted snow could provide a persistent weakness that we will need to monitor over the next few storms.  Most backcountry observers note this sugary snow in various places but no one is real worked up about it, however, we will consider it suspect until proven otherwise.


For today we will need to pay attention to how the new snow is bonding to the old surface.  As the snow starts to pile up it would be wise to perform various stability tests on different aspects to get a handle on what’s happening.  Hand pits, shovel tilt tests and slope cuts are good tools for these conditions. 

Bottom Line:

This morning the avalanche danger starts out LOW but will reach MODERATE later today if we receive the expected new snow.  It is important to understand that the avalanche danger will be on the rise over the weekend.


Mountain Weather:

Today we’ll see snow becoming heavy at times.  5 to 8 inches is expected by tonight.  Ridgetop winds will blow in the 10 to 20 mph range from the south shifting more to the west as the day goes on and ridgetop temperatures will be in the mid teens.  Saturday will be colder with temperatures from the low teens into single digits.  Another slightly stronger storm will affect the area Saturday night along with stronger wind speeds.  My guess is by Sunday we’ll have added about 1 to 1 ½ inches total water which translates to 12 to 20 inches of total snow for these next couple of storms.  Next week could be active but weather models are not in agreement right now so stay tuned for further details on these storms.  Click here for the National Weather Service graphic Forecast. 



Early birds and snow geeks can catch our 6AM report at 364-1591.

You can find our mountain weather forecast here by about noon each day.


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, call Snowbird at 933-2147.  Visit www.backcountryawareness.com for more details.


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 Big Cottonwood, Little Cottonwood, and Provo canyons, which is updated as needed. 801-975-4838.

The Wasatch Powderbird Guides flew in Cardiff, Days and American Fork.  Today they will probably not have the visibility but if they do, they will fly in Mineral, Cardiff, Days, Silver, Mill Creek, American Fork and Cascade Ridge.   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 Saturday morning.  Thanks for calling.