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, March 27, 2007 7:30 am
Good morning, this is Evelyn Lees with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory. Today is Tuesday, March 27, 2007 and its 7:30 in the morning.


Current Conditions:

A cold, powerful storm is tantalizingly closebut were still a day away from enjoying deep, fresh powder. Ahead of the storm, it will be a warm, blustery morning, with heavy snowfall not expected to start until mid afternoon. The strong southerly winds are in the 25 to 35 mph range, with gusts in the 50s to 70s across peaks favored by this flow. 10,000 temperatures are in the low to mid 30s this morning, with readings in the low 40s at 8,000. The old snow surface is mostly frozen crusts, with a just a few remnants of soft snow on steep, upper elevation northerly facing slopes.


Snow and Avalanche Discussion:

No new avalanches were reported from the backcountry yesterday.


There is not much snow available for transport this morning, but with gale force winds, dont over look any shallow drifts that may form. They could be well off the ridgelines, and should be avoided on steep slopes. Once snow starts to fall this afternoon, the strong southerly winds will rapidly create fresh drifts of snow, especially on northerly facing slopes, which could get deep enough by dark to catch and carry a person.


The new snow will be landing on stout, strong crusts on most aspects, but on northwest, north and northeasterly facing slopes there are a few weak layers in the upper foot of the old snow. This weak snow, below thin surface crusts or a denser heat layer, may get overloaded with the new snow and is worth keeping track of. These layers change rapidly with just a few degrees difference in slope angle and aspect, so check them out efficiently with quick hand and pole pits.


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

The avalanche danger is generally LOW this morning, but will rise to MODERATE late this afternoon on any slope steeper than about 35 degrees with fresh drifts of wind blown snow.


Mountain Weather:

A cold, vigorous storm moving across California will reach northern Utah this afternoon, producing snow through Thursday morning. Skies will become mostly cloudy by noon, with a few rain showers possible this afternoon, before rapidly dropping temperatures turn the precipitation to snow. 2 to 5 of snow is possible by late afternoon. Winds will remain from the south to southwest today, averaging 30 to 40 mph across the higher ridges, with gusts in the 60s and 70s. Temperatures will be near 40 at 8,000 and in the upper 20s at 10,000 this morning, before dropping into the low 20s this afternoon. Heavy snowfall tonight, with about a foot by morning. Temperatures tonight will be in low teens, and the winds will shift to the northwest late this evening. An additional 6 to 12 inches of snow is expected Wednesday through Thursday morning, with periods of strong northwesterly winds.


The Wasatch Powderbird Guides were in Cascade and American Fork yesterday, and will not be flying today. For more info, call 742-2800.


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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 all the great snowpack and avalanche observations weve been getting, so keep leaving us messages 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 Wednesday morning, and thanks for calling.