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.

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Monday, November 27, 2006  7:30 am
Good morning, this is Drew Hardesty with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Today is Monday, November 27, 2006 and it’s 7:30 in the morning. 


We have issued an AVALANCHE WATCH for the mountains of northern Utah.  The danger is expected to rise significantly over the next 24 hours.


Current Conditions:

The first few flakes are falling in the mountains this morning ahead of what looks to be a monster storm for northern Utah.  The winds remain from a south to southwesterly direction, blowing 20-30mph with some gusts into the 50’s and 60’s.  Temps, in the upper teens and low 20’s, will seem downright balmy compared to tonight’s icy plunge of the thermometer, which will ultimately bottom out on Tuesday to 4 below zero.  Riding conditions will continue to be a mixed bag of terror until the snow starts to pile up. 


Snowpack and Avalanche Conditions:

As we’re expected to see 4-6” today with stronger southwesterly winds, it’ll be a day of transition with the danger on the rise.  The new snow will bond poorly on many of the upper elevation slopes of bullet-proof wind board and will likely sluff immediately and far on the steepest slopes.  New sensitive wind drifts will also develop on the mid and upper elevation lee slopes and will initially be most pronounced on the north through east facing slopes.  The snow may bond best to the warmer, rough snow landscape on the south-facing areas, but it may all be academic with heavy bursts of snow tonight and tomorrow with forecasted storm totals over two feet in many locations.  


By the time it’s all said and done, we’ll likely have run the gamut of avalanche types, from loose and storm snow avalanches, sensitive wind drifts with the potential for remotely triggered slides where the snow comes in on the pockety faceted surface snow on the protected shady aspects.  Lastly, it may be enough of a load to reactivate the basal depth hoar for step-down avalanches to run. 


If you head out into the backcountry, you’ll need to exercise caution by moving through protected terrain and putting one person on a steep slope at a time.  Offensive tactics like slope cuts and cornice drops should prove effective with the new snow instabilities.  


Bottom Line:

A LOW avalanche danger this morning will rise to MODERATE today in upper elevation terrain that sees the most snow.  Watch for immediate sluffing and developing wind drifts on the slick old bed surfaces on the steepest slopes.


Mountain Weather:

We’re in for cold, stormy conditions through Wednesday with storm totals up an over two feet in favored locations.  The pre-frontal winds will blow from the southwest today in the 25-30mph range with occasional gusts into the 60’s.  Frontal passage will be in the early evening which should drop snow levels to the valley floor.  Cold air aloft and lake enhanced snowfall should keep the hose on through Wednesday.  Brief ridging moves in late in the week ahead of a couple of smaller disturbances over the weekend.



Our partners, the FUAC, will hold their next fundraiser at Brewvies on Dec 7th. There will be two showings of TGR’s new film, “The Anomaly”, at 7pm and 9pm.  Advance tickets are available.


We appreciate any snowpack and avalanche observations, so please let us know by calling (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 on Tuesday morning and thanks for calling.