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.

ďkeeping you on topĒ

AVALANCHE ADVISORY

Wednesday, March 12, 20087:30 am
Good morning, this is Bruce Tremper with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.Today is Wednesday, March 12, 2008 and itís about 7:30 am.

 

Current Conditions:

If youíre consulting this advisory this morning, you likely have an addiction problem.Sure, itís a good addiction, but maybe you could use some help.Yesterday was pretty much the same as the day before except warmer.It was another cooker with temperatures in the mid 40ís at many mountain locations.This made wet glop out of the snow once again on all but the upper elevation northerly facing slopes where you can still find about 6 inches of soft, recrystallized snow that feels like powder if you donít know better.

This morning, ridge top temperatures are about 5 degrees cooler than yesterday morning, and they should continue to cool through the day.Which means you will have to negotiate various kinds of frozen sun and heat crusts before you can get to the soft, dry snow up above about 9,000í that face the north quadrant of the compass.

 

Snow and Avalanche Discussion:

Yesterdayís very warm temperatures turned the snow soggy on all aspects at lower elevations and there was no lack of wet rollerballs and shallow, wet sluffs, even on north facing slopes at lower elevations.Todayís cooler temperatures should greatly diminish the wet activity.

Although todayís avalanche danger is low, Iím worried about the future. We have snow starting tomorrow and should continue off and on through the weekend, which will increase the avalanche danger.The upper elevation slopes that face the north quadrant of the compass have no lack of very weak, sugary, faceted snow on the surface, capped off by some surface hoar in places, which will be a very slippery and persistent weak layer when we put a slab of new snow on top of it.In addition, the east and west facing slopes have some faceted snow sandwiched between sun crusts, which may also be a problem.As these layers get buried by the series of storms over the next week or so, our stable carefree snowpack will likely turn into something much more menacing.

 

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

The avalanche danger is LOW.But the avalanche danger should increase on Thursday and through the weekend.Be sure to monitor this advisory as conditions change.

 

Mountain Weather:

Today we will see increasing high clouds, which will lower through the day.Ridge top temperatures will cool from the mid 20ís this morning to around 20 later in the day.Ridge top winds will blow 15-20 mph from the west with 30 mph winds on the highest peaks.On Thursday, a disturbance on a westerly flow will give us perhaps 8 inches of snow, which may add up to a foot by Friday.Ridge top temperature should cool into the mid teens on Friday and on Saturday ridge top temperatures near 10 degrees with light snow showers.Finally, we have another disturbance for Sunday with several more disturbances on a westerly flow for the rest of the week.

 

Announcements
Headís up: This Saturday morning, the Wasatch Powderkeg race will have lots of huffing-and-puffing racers in Grizzly Gulch near Alta from about 7:00 am to noon.

 

The Wasatch Powderbird Guides flew in Mineral, Cardiff and Cascade. Today, they will operate two ships in the same areas plus Days, Silver, White Pine and Mill Creek. For more detailed information please call (801) 742-2800 or go to their daily blog.

If you want to get this avalanche advisory e-mailed to you daily click HERE.
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).

Watch video tututorials and fieldwork from UAC staff at our YouTube channel.

The UAC depends on contributions from users like you to support our work.  To find out more about how you can support our efforts to continue providing the avalanche forecasting and education that you expect please visit our Friends page.

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.

Evelyn Lees will update this advisory by 7:30 on Thursday morning.