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”
March 02, 2008 7:30 am
Good morning, this is
“Warm and windy” euphemistically
described the conditions prior to yesterday afternoon’s cold front, which
crashed down with a vengeance. It
delivered the full package of plummeting temps, strong winds, and heavy
snowfall and the Cottonwoods, receiving the lions’ share, picked up 14-16” of
7-8% snow. The
Snow and Avalanche Discussion:
A ski party descending west off the Benson-Reed ridgeline in mid-BCC reported two naturals across the drainage in upper northeast George’s Bowl and Kessler Peak, pulling out perhaps up to 10” deep and 100’ or so wide. Others found increasingly harder to trigger wind drifts up to 8” deep in high, steep wind loaded terrain prior to frontal passage.
It’s a new ballgame. Reckless abandon, like that which we’ve seen in the past week, will find folks going for rides in avalanches in steep wind loaded terrain today. It’s likely that the new snow came in and bonded well to the warming snow surfaces, but the winds will have created a number of soft and hard slabs in lee and cross-loaded slopes. You’ll want to jump on a number of test slopes, and pull out the shovel and saw to look for potential soft slabs sitting over harder drifts which may still come unglued in the right spot. The harder slabs fall into more of the “unmanageable” category where they’re shy to pull out with a ski/slope cut. They’ll be more the exception than the rule, but the watch for cracking in the softer, pillowy, drifted snow.
Bottom Line for the
Bottom Line for the
The avalanche danger is MODERATE for steep wind drifted terrain. Human triggered avalanches of up to a foot are possible in the steepest most wind exposed terrain.
Instability showers on a gusty northerly flow will be the main feature this morning, with single digit temps above 9000’. Warming aloft will cap the instability by the afternoon, and skies will be partly cloudy through late Monday. The northerly winds should continue veering to the northeast and start to relax by midday. A couple systems are on track for Tuesday and Wednesday, but they’ll likely only clip us to the north, with some spillover precipitation in our zone.
The Wasatch Powderbird Guides didn’t get out yesterday, and if they can get out today will be in American Fork, Lamb’s, the Sessions, or Cascade in
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UDOT highway avalanche control work info can be found by calling (801) 975-4838.
Our statewide tollfree line is 1-888-999-4019 (early morning, option 8).
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If you see any avalanches or interesting snow conditions, 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.
I will update this advisory by 7:30 on Monday morning.