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


Thursday, March 27, 2008  7:30 am
Good morning, this is Bruce Tremper with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Today is Thursday, March 27, 2008 and it’s about 7:30 am. 


Current Conditions:

The backcountry snow surface is in bad need of a fresh coat of paint and it looks like we will only get a light airbrush today.  We have a quick-hitting, mostly dry, cold front impacting northern Utah this morning.  It appears like it is affecting areas mostly north of I-80 with perhaps a couple inches south of I-80, about 3 inches in Ogden and 4 inches overnight in the Logan area mountains—giving Logan mountains 8 inches in the past 24 hours, since they had some wet snow yesterday.  South of Logan, yesterday, it was warm, cloudy and windy but there wasn’t much snow to blow around because the old snow is—well—old and worn out with wet, sun crusts and rollerballs on most sun exposed slopes and various kinds of hard wind board and wind crusts on shady slopes.  A blast of cold air this morning will flash-freeze all our wet, chunky snow into something resembling concrete traffic barriers.


Snow and Avalanche Discussion:

The only avalanche activity yesterday was some wet sluffs and rollerballs, mostly at lower elevations but none were too serious.

Today’s only avalanche concern will be wind slabs from strong wind drifting new snow as the cold front passes this morning.  Unfortunately, there will probably not be much new snow to blow around, so wind drifts will be correspondingly shallow.  Watch carefully for any instabilities within the new snow, especially in wind drifted areas.  The snow will hide no buried secrets today because everything will be right on the surface.  So what you see is what you get.  Be sure to jump on small, test slopes and dig down with your hand to pull on small blocks to test the snow as you travel.


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

Today, there will be a MODERATE danger of human triggered avalanches on any slope approaching 35 degrees and steeper with recent deposits of wind drifted snow and LOW elsewhere. 

Mountain Weather:

The main energy from this cold front is skating by to the north of us in Idaho and Wyoming.  The tail end of the front is sagging into northern Utah, giving us some paltry, low clouds and a quick-hitting burst of snow this morning.  I’m expecting a mighty inch or two in the Salt Lake area mountains and a little more in Logan and Ogden.  The ridge top winds should pick up and blow harder as it passes by 40, gusting to 60 on the ridges.  By 8 this morning, winds and snow should rapidly diminish—like I said, quick-hitting.  Temperatures will plummet this morning down to the teens.  We should have partly cloudy skies for most of the day with scattered, light snow showers and mostly clear skies tonight and temperatures near 12 degrees.

Friday, we should have rapid warming in advance of a copy-cat cold front on Saturday, so Friday’s temperatures should jump up into the mid 30’s only to have them plunge back down to 12 degrees again on Saturday with light snow.


The Wasatch Powderbird Guides did not fly yesterday.  If they can fly today, they’ll try for Mineral, Cardiff, Days, and Silver and American Fork.  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.

Brett Kobernik will update this advisory by 7:30 on Friday morning.