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.

keeping you on top


Sunday, December 10, 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 Sunday, December 10, 2006 and it’s 7:30 in the morning. 


Current Conditions:

Soon the ridge of high pressure will be just another bad dream as a series of westerlies kick in for the week.  It’s nice to see some colors on the IR satellite imagery headed our way.  We’ll see a couple inches by late afternoon with a fair shot of it overnight.  With equal anticipation, the southerly winds picked up again and are blowing 25-30mph with gusts into the 50’s along the high ridgelines.  Temps are in the mid-to low twenties.  Upper elevations are damaged from sun and wind, but the protected shady slopes still offer some soft recrystallized powder.


Snowpack and Avalanche Conditions:

With the strong southerly winds to blame, one of our observers was able to crack out a couple fresh 8” by 20’ hard slabs in upper Mineral Fork of Big Cottonwood Canyon.  Along the more exposed ridgelines affected by the stronger southerly winds, look for more of the same, avoiding those steep starting zones where consequences matter. 


In the meantime, we’ll focus on the terrain littered with weak snow.  The surface hoar and surface facets won’t take kindly to a good storm.  It all depends on how much and how fast.  If we get nickle’d and dime’d, things will be tricky and pockety as there may not be enough of a load to get things going.  In any event, the avalanche danger will be on the rise with the snow expected for this afternoon and tonight.  It’ll be a different ballgame.


Bottom Line:

The avalanche danger remains generally LOW with a few isolated pockets of hard slab along the higher shady ridgelines.  If we get more snow than expected, dusk patrollers will want to watch for a rising danger to MODERATE of increased sluffing on the steeper aspects as well as alliterative shallow sensitive soft slabs.


Mountain Weather:

A series of progressively stronger Pacific weather disturbances will cross northern Utah today through midweek.  Clouds will increase today, with a couple inches of prefrontal snow expected during the day.  The southerly winds will blow 20-30mph across the more exposed ridges with temps in the mid to low twenties.  Frontal passage is expected around dinner time with 4-8” expected overnight.   



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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.


I will update this advisory by 7:30 on Monday morning.