UDOT PLANNED AVALANCHE CLOSURES!!

Forecast for the Abajos Area Mountains

Eric Trenbeath
Issued by Eric Trenbeath for
Thursday, January 19, 2023
Special Announcements
A HIGH avalanche danger exists in the Abajo Mountains today. Avoid all avalanche terrain. This means staying off of slopes steeper than 30 degrees with nothing steep above you.
Weather and Snow
NWS Forecast for the Abajo Mountains
Snow totals and temps at Buckboard Flat (8924')
Snow totals and temps at Camp Jackson (8858')

Weather
Short lived high pressure will provide clear skies and sunshine this morning before high clouds start moving in ahead of the next system. SW winds will be light and high temps at 10,000' will be in the mid teens. The low pressure system moves into AZ late tonight and through the 4 Corners tomorrow morning bringing snowfall to the La Sal and Abajo mountains. This system has much less moisture available than what we've been seeing and 5"-7" look possible. High pressure builds on Saturday signaling a pattern change and a more northerly storm track that will favor the northern and central Rockies.

Snowpack Summary and General Conditions
What an impressive storm! The Abajo range is the big winner for this event. Camp Jackson is reported 18" in 24 hours on Wednesday at 2" of SWE. This brings snow totals up to 29" of snow and 4.2" of SWE sicne Sunday. This is a huge load on top of a pre-existing weak snowpack structure. This has created very dangerous avalanche conditions throughout the range. Blowing and drifting snow will only complicate things. The avalanche danger is HIGH, natural avalanches are likely, human triggered avalanches are very likely, and backcountry travelers must avoid all avalanche terrain. If you are out riding in the mountains, stick to low angle meadows with no steep slopes above you.
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Additional Information
If you are getting out in the backcountry, we'd love to hear what you're seeing. Please submit observations here. For the most recent snowpack observations click here. You can also send an email to [email protected] or give me a call with anything noteworthy, especially avalanches! 801-647-8896
General Announcements
This forecast is from the U.S.D.A. Forest Service, which is solely responsible for its content. This forecast describes general avalanche conditions and local variations always occur.