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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Friday, February 09, 2007  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 Friday, February 09, 2007 and it’s 7:30 in the morning.

Thanks to everyone who showed up at Brewvies for the fundraising movie last night.  It was a packed house and sounds like everyone enjoyed the evening.


We’re unveiling the new look to our avalanche advisory today thanks to the design work by Jim Conway and the back-end programming by our own Brett Kobernik.  We still have a few additions and changes to come.  We also have a new Media Page to communicate present and future avalanche danger ratings.


Current Conditions:

Yesterday temperatures cooled about 10 degrees compared to the day before.  However, mild temperatures continue in the mountains.  While overnight temperatures were below freezing along the upper elevation ridges, temperatures still were above freezing along the 8000 foot ridges.  Wind directions vary greatly from station to station this morning but are generally from the southwest in the 5 to 10 mph range gusting into the 20s and 30s at the most exposed locations.

Snowpack and Avalanche Conditions:

Very weak faceted snow continues to plague our snowpack.  This weakness is buried under a wind slab in many locations that formed last weekend and is waiting to be buried in other locations.  This produced numerous human triggered as well as a few natural avalanches.  Some of these avalanches were quite large and unsurvivable if someone were caught.  This trend will continue especially as we add more snow which we should see happen somewhat starting today through the weekend.  


The lack of snow this season breeds strong “powder fever” which makes us go against our better judgment sometimes.  If we do start adding snow it’ll be prudent to play things very conservative by staying on lower angle slopes.


For today there are lingering spots that could avalanche in areas that received a new wind load last weekend.  These are mainly on mid to upper elevation slopes on north through southeast facing aspects.  Remember the mountain terrain channels wind in various directions so these slabs may not be limited to just those aspects.    


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

A MODERATE danger exists on slopes approaching 35 degrees or steeper that have had deposits of wind drifted snow from last weekend.  These are tricky conditions since not all slopes have this condition and obvious clues to avalanching may not be present.


Mountain Weather: 

We’re under a moist westerly flow today through the weekend that should produce snow.  Today and tonight snow showers will mainly be in the more northern portion of the state with snow levels around 8000 feet.  Today we’ll see cloudy skies with high temperatures along the 9000 and 10,000 foot ridges in the upper 20s and winds from the southwest in the 5 to 10 mph range gusting into the 20s and 30s at the most exposed locations.  Winds increase a bit tonight.  The best chance for snow is Saturday into Sunday.  Weather models are showing quite high water amounts through this period and even if we cut those in half we still are looking at around an inch of water fairly evenly distributed throughout the mountains.  If this happens avalanche conditions will get interesting.


Yesterday, the Wasatch Powderbird Guides did not fly, and they probably won’t fly again today.  With questions regarding their areas of operation call 742-2800.

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

UDOT highway avalanche control work info can be found HERE or by calling (801) 975-4838.


Our statewide tollfree line is 1-888-999-4019 (early morning, 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 Saturday morning, and thanks for calling.