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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AVALANCHE ADVISORY

Friday, December 22, 20067:30 am
Good morning, this is Bruce Tremper with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.Today is Friday, December 22, 2006 and itís 7:30 in the morning.

 

Current Conditions:

Light snow is falling in the mountains and we are expecting 3-6 inches of snow today, just to freshen things up.Temperatures this morning are fairly warm, in the mid 20ís.Ridge top winds are southwest and not particularly strong, around 15 mph and 20 mph on the highest peaks.There is a wide variety of old snow surfaces with old, wind slabs above tree line, sun crusts on all the sun exposed slopes and still some nice, soft, recrystallized snow on the slopes that face the north half of the compass down out of the wind zones.In shallow snowpack areas, there is weak, sugary snow all the way to the ground.As usual, our hard-working and creative, Brett Kobernik came through again.He put together a wonderful synopsis of the seasonís weather and avalanche conditions up to this point. Check it out.

 

Snowpack and Avalanche Conditions:

I donít think we are going to get enough new snow to change the avalanche conditions very much.But still, the main concern for the day is the new snow and any wind drifting of the new snow.Watch out for the winds to kick up as the trough passes at mid day and also watch for increasing northerly winds on Saturday.If any wind drifting occurs, they will be deposited on top of some very weak snow on the surface right now.This means that any wind slabs created today will be especially sensitive.These avalanches may easily step down to deeper weak layers.

 

Bottom Line for the Salt Lake, Park City, Ogden and Provo area mountains:

The avalanche danger is generally LOW today but will likely rise to MODERATE in areas with recent deposits of wind drifted snow.

 

Mountain Weather:

Unfortunately, the system today is rather weak and splitting, so Iím not expecting much snow, probably 3-6 inches.This system is not a cold front, but just a passing trough, so temperatures will not drop very much as it passes but the ridge top winds will shift from the southwest to the northwest by tonight and to the north on Saturday.The winds are supposed to remain fairly reasonable at not much more than 20 mph.Ridge top temperature will remain around 20 degrees.

For the extended forecast, we have a stronger, colder and windier storm on Sunday, just in time to freshen things up for your new toys on Christmas day.Then it looks like another shot of snow on about Tuesday.

 

Announcements:

Yesterday, the Wasatch Powderbird Guides flew in Mineral, Cardiff and Cascade.Today, they will most likely not fly today due to weather.If they can get out, they will be in Mineral, Cardiff, Days, Silver, Grizzly, white Pine, American Fork and Cascade.Also, they will NOT fly in the Tri Canyons tomorrow on Saturday.

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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.

 

Brett Kobernik will update this advisory by 7:30 on Saturday morning, and thanks for calling.