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


Tuesday, December 12, 2006  7:30 am
Good morning, this is Brett Kobernik with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Today is Tuesday, December 12, 2006 and it’s 7:30 in the morning. 


Bruce Tremper will be speaking on ‘The Science of Avalanches’ Tonight at 7pm at the SLC REI.


Current Conditions:

Under cloudy skies with a few snow flurries, westerly winds picked up just slightly from Monday and are blowing in the 5 to 15 mph range gusting into the 20s & 30s at the most exposed locations.  Ridgetop temperatures dipped into the low teens overnight but are now back up to around 20.


Snowpack and Avalanche Conditions:

Most people found the new snow to be mostly stable on Monday.  Some sluffing occurred on steeper slopes and a few folks noted some small sensitive slabs in upper elevation wind affected terrain.  If you looked close you might have noticed a slight weakness within the new snow.  An inch or so of very light density snow fell on Sunday morning with another layer coming Sunday afternoon into Monday.  Shovel tilt tests revealed a weakness between these layers.  (PHOTO)  (Quicktime video, 5.3mb), It wasn’t significant enough to produce any avalanching but with a little more snow and wind it may be something to watch for. 


We’ve now, also, covered up our faceted snow from the last few weeks.  The most recent snow load was neither stiff enough nor heavy enough to overload it.  We won’t forget about it though.  With more snow expected over the next few days we have the potential to form a stiff enough slab that may start to crack and collapse.  In other words, we are under what you might call a “slab watch”.


For today the main concern is the potential for slab formation.  With some snow in today’s forecast, slightly warmer temperatures and any wind that could occur, it may not take a whole lot to change the light fluffy snow into a slightly denser layer that is prone to cracking.  Pay close attention to any cracking under your feet.  Continue the use of slope cuts and use test slopes to check for changing conditions.


Bottom Line:

For the Ogden, Salt Lake and Park City mountains, the avalanche danger is MODERATE on steep upper elevation slopes with recent deposits of wind drifted snow.  The danger will be on the rise today and tonight if we receive more snow.  Out of wind affected terrain the danger is LOW.  The Provo mountains have a generally LOW danger but with more snow the danger will be on the rise as well.


Mountain Weather:

We should see a shot of snow this morning that may produce a few inches then potential showers throughout the day.  Ridgetop temperatures will be in the low 20s and ridgetop winds will be in the 10 to 20 mph range with gusts into the 30s and gusting into the 40s and 50s at the most exposed locations.  Another 3 to 6 inches of snow is possible tonight and a few more disturbances through the week with the northern most mountains receiving the most snow.



Listen to the advisory.  Try our new streaming audio or podcasts

Our new, state wide tollfree hotline is 1-888-999-4019.
(For early morning detailed avalanche activity report hit option 8)

For a list of avalanche classes, click HERE

For our classic text advisory click HERE.

To sign up for automated e-mails of our graphical advisory click HERE


We appreciate any snowpack and avalanche observations you have, so please leave us a message at (801) 524-5304 or 1-800-662-4140, or email us at [email protected]. (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 on Wednesday morning.