There is lots going on with the snow, weather and avalanche danger right now.
Looking at this from a backcountry powder skiers perspective, I don't like it. The older snow from November has become so weak that it is not going to allow me to get onto my favorite steep slopes for quite some time. I was fairly optimistic until about a week and a half ago when I finally had to admit defeat. The the old faceted snow has progressed to the stage that it's going to cause problems. Now we are loading it up and it seems inevitable that we'll see avalanches. It is going to take a good amount of time before I feel comfortable getting into my favorite terrain. I have come to the realization that I will need to stay on lower angle slopes until this weak layer (hopefully) stabilizes sometime in the future. With enough snow, it is possible that this situation will pass but we will surely see a good avalanche cycle in the meantime.
Looking at this from a forecaster's perspective is no better. This is the type of conditions where accidents happen. A weak layer of faceted snow or the "Persistent Slab" avalanche problem is the cause of the majority of avalanche fatalities in Utah. You cannot trust this set up. We have only seen hints of instability so far. This is mainly due to the lack of any significant wind with the last couple of storms. We have added 2 to 3 feet of snow with 1 to 2 inches of water weight. We have enough snow and weight to cause serious avalanches, we just don't quite have the right slab on top of the weak layer yet. Some wind and continued snow accumulations will most likely do the trick.
We're going to see some wind later today and tonight. This alone may be enough to start seeing avalanching in the backcountry. We'll also be adding some more snow. The danger will most likely increase over the next couple of days.
There haven't been all that many people prowling around during the recent storm. Shallow conditions, poor weather and difficult travel have dissuaded people. However, all the new snow is getting people excited to get into the mountains. I see a decent day weather wise shaping up for Saturday and I fear that the combination of eager people, good weather and a dangerous snowpack is going to be the recipe for an accident.
Get the word out that we have a very serious situation right now.