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
“keeping you on top”
December 24, 2006 7:30 am
Good morning, this is Drew Hardesty with the
The storm passing to the north put down a trace to two inches overnight, but at least the winds cranked up to 25-30mph with the highest anemometers buzzing 45-50mph with gusts into the 70’s. Skies above the valley are just starting to clear and I’d expect the winds to calm down by late morning as the system races off to the east. The sun had already crusted about half the pie on the south and west facing aspects, and now the wind has shaved things down to the sheltered shady terrain.
Snowpack and Avalanche Conditions:
Two out of bounds
snowboarders in the
While plenty of weak snow abounds, this avalanche is, in my opinion, the exception and not the rule. It’s likely that they triggered the slide in the only place that they could have triggered it and we’ll continue to caution folks about thin, rocky areas in the shady terrain above 9500’ or so. Much of the weakest snow, faceted grains adjacent to a rain/rime crust, produced the mini-cycle last Sunday with a few trickling in over the week.
For now, the major issue will be the new hard and soft wind drifts from the strong west to northwesterly winds. They’ll be sitting on some weaker faceted snow buried by Thursday night’s couple of inches and will be locally sensitive in steeper terrain, both in the usual starting zones, and below.
Bottom Line for the
The avalanche danger is MODERATE at mid and upper elevation wind drifted slopes steeper than 35 degrees. The danger will be most pronounced on north to east and southeast facing slopes, but be mindful of any fresh wind drifts from terrain channeling. It may be possible to trigger avalanches at a distance today. Out of wind-affected terrain, the danger is mostly LOW.
The clouds should start to break up my mid-morning and we’ll see partly cloudy skies. The west to northwesterly winds will blow 30-40mph with locally higher speeds until about midday. 8000’ temps will reach into the upper 20’s with 10,000’ highs will be in the mid-teens. After tomorrow, the weather looks pretty unsettled with a good looking storm Tuesday night through early Thursday.
Yesterday, the Wasatch Powderbird Guides flew in AF and Snake creek and weather permitting, will head back there today. One ship may be alon the Cascade ridgeline.
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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.
Drew Hardesty will update this advisory by 7:30 on Sunday morning, and thanks for calling.