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

Wednesday, February 01, 20067:30am
Good morning, this is Evelyn Lees with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.Today is Wednesday, February 01, 2006, and itís about 7:30 am.

 

††††††††† Current Conditions:

This morning, winds and temperatures are increasing ahead of a rapidly approaching warm front.Across the ridges, the westerly winds are in the 15 to 25 mph range, with gusts in the 30ís.Temperatures have warmed into the upper teens to mid 20ís.Wind sheltered, shady slopes at mid and upper elevations have loose, settled powder this morning, with many other slopes sun or wind damaged. Todayís new snow may be warmer and denser than the snow itís landing on, creating punchy riding conditions.

 

Avalanche Conditions:

In last 4 days there have been at least 6 unintentionally triggered slides, failing on a variety of weak layers.This is a giant hint that the snowpack is less stable than earlier in January, and that recognizing the stability pattern is getting trickier.Yesterday, a skier in the Ogden area mountains triggered a 20Ē deep by 200í wide slide, failing on surface hoar.This was on a 33 to 35 degree northeast facing slope, at 7,000í. (Click here for photos)There were also reports of a few, very small new snow sluffs and soft slabs.

 

Today, the most widespread avalanche problem will be fresh wind drifts created by the strong westerly winds.These drifts will increase in depth and number throughout the day, and will be found both along the ridges and well off the ridgelines, cross loaded around gully walls, sub ridges and breakovers.Avoid any steep slope with wind drifted snow today, and stay well away from cornices as they may break back further than expected.

 

Today, in isolated places, it will be possible to trigger a deeper and more dangerous slide that takes out the snow from two or more storms. The weight of the new snow could overload some of the more deeply buried weak layers in the snowpack, including surface hoar and near surface facets. Triggering one of these larger slides will be more likely in the Ogden, Provo, Park City and Western Uinta mountains.


Bottom Line:

The avalanche danger is increasing today due to strong winds, warming temperatures and new snow.This morning, the avalanche danger is MODERATE on slopes steeper than about 35 degrees, especially slopes with recent drifts of wind blown snow.With additional wind and snow, the danger will rise to CONSIDERABLE on steep, wind drifted slopes later today.Considerable means human triggered avalanches are probable and natural avalanches possible. Natural avalanches may also be possible at the lower elevations if it starts to rain on the snow.

Mountain Weather:

A warm front is racing into northwestern Utah this morning.This could produce 4 to 8Ē snow, with the heaviest snowfall around the front.The westerly winds will continue to increase today, into the 30 to 40 mph range across the ridges. Temperatures will warm into the low 20ís at 10,000í and the low 30ís at 8,000í.There could be a break in the snowfall this afternoon, before more significant snow associated with the cold front arrives this evening.6 to 12Ē of snow possible tonight, with snow continuing through Thursday.A break on Friday and Saturday, with another storm possible on Sunday.

 

Click here for the National Weather Service graphic Forecast.

 

Announcements:

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:
http://www.avalanche.org/~uac/newadvisory/advisory.php

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

To have this advisory automatically e-mailed to you each day, click HERE.

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 didnít get out yesterday and if the weather allows they will fly in Cardiff, Silver, Days, Grizzly, American Fork and White Pine today.†† 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.

Bruce Tremper will update this advisory by 7:30 Thursday morning.Thanks for calling.