Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Salt Lake Area Mountains Issued by Mark Staples for Wednesday - December 28, 2016 - 7:12am
bottom line

Today the avalanche danger is MODERATE at all upper elevations and on wind loaded mid elevations slopes. The danger is LOW in all other terrain.




current conditions

Under cloudy skies, temperatures this morning are in the high teens and low 20's F. Winds are blowing 10-15 mph from the WSW with gusts of 25 mph. Overnight winds averaged about the same but had stronger gust of 30-40 mph.

recent activity

The only reported avalanches in the Central Wasatch mountains were a few wind slabs triggered by explosives at ski areas. Small sluffs and wind slabs were triggered in the backcountry on most aspects two days ago. There was more avalanche activity at ski resorts and in the backcountry in the Ogden area where winds have been stronger and there is a weak layer near an ice crust about a foot deep on some slopes.

Avalanche Problem 1
type aspect/elevation characteristics
LIKELIHOOD
LIKELY
UNLIKELY
SIZE
LARGE
SMALL
TREND
INCREASING DANGER
SAME
DECREASING DANGER
over the next 24 hours
description

Watch for fresh wind slabs formed by winds generally blowing from the W and SW. These wind slabs are breaking on low density snow from the Christmas storm and can be 1-2 feet thick. These wind slabs could be tricky today as they will stabilize at different rates.

Avalanche Problem 2
type aspect/elevation characteristics
LIKELIHOOD
LIKELY
UNLIKELY
SIZE
LARGE
SMALL
TREND
INCREASING DANGER
SAME
DECREASING DANGER
over the next 24 hours
description

On NW through E aspects on upper elevations, there remains a chance of triggering a slide at the ground. While this is not likely, the additional weight of wind blown snow keeps this avalanche problem present. Faceted layers in the middle of the snowpack have mostly healed.

weather

Today will have cloudy skies for the morning that should give way to sunshine by afternoon. A few snowflakes could fall this morning but no accumulation is expected. Temperatures will rise into the upper 20's F. Winds should slowly shift direction and blow from the NW by late afternoon at 10-15 mph.

general announcements

Remember your information can save lives. If you see anything we should know about, please help us out by submitting snow and avalanche conditions. You can also call us at 801-524-5304, email by clicking HERE, or include #utavy in your tweet or Instagram.

To get help in an emergency (to request a rescue) in the Wasatch, call 911. Be prepared to give your GPS coordinates or the run name. Dispatchers have a copy of the Wasatch Backcountry Ski map.

Backcountry Emergencies. It outlines your step-by-step method in the event of a winter backcountry incident.

If you trigger an avalanche in the backcountry, but no one is hurt and you do not need assistance, please notify the nearest ski area dispatch to avoid a needless response by rescue teams. Thanks.

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This information does not apply to developed ski areas or highways where avalanche control is normally done. This advisory is from the U.S.D.A. Forest Service, which is solely responsible for its content. This advisory describes general avalanche conditions and local variations always exist.