Forecast for the Abajos Area Mountains

Issued by Eric Trenbeath for Tuesday, January 8, 2019 - 7:28am
The avalanche danger is CONSIDERABLE today on steep slopes that have recent deposits of wind drifted snow. In addition, new snow, and wind drifted snow, have dangerously overloaded a fragile snowpack, and avalanches stepping down into buried persistent weak layers are also likely, particularly on steep terrain that faces NW-N-E. There is also a MODERATE danger for triggering avalanche in the storm snow even on slopes that aren't wind loaded - signs of instability include collapsing and cracking in the snow surface. And finally, as the day heats up we may also see some loose, wet avalanches on sun exposed slopes. Don't let the beautiful day lull you into a sense of complacency. It's dangerous out there and problems are complex.
Low
Moderate
Considerable
High
Extreme
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Weather and Snow
Skies are clear, NW winds are light, and 10,000' temps are in the mid teens. It's going to be a beautiful day in the mountains with sunny skies, light winds, and high temps in the low 30's. Sunday's storm delivered 8"-10" of dense, new snow accompanied by strong SW winds. As a result, it's not exactly light, fluffy powder conditions out there. The dense snow is fast and somewhat supportive making for fun skiing and riding on low angle terrain, which is where you want to be considering the avalanche potential. We'll see high pressure building today and tomorrow, interrupted by a weak short wave on Thursday, with a return to dry conditions after that.The Abajo Mountains picked up 8"-10" of new snow yesterday accompanied by moderate to strong SW winds. Winds quieted down overnight but are again on the increase. Today, we'll see some lingering clouds and a chance for snow showers. SW winds will blow in the 20-30 mph range along ridge tops and hight temps will be in the low 20's.
It's going to be a beautiful day up there! Photo courtesy Kevin Dressel webcam.
I had a look around on Saturday, and though conditions remain thin, they are improving and yesterday's storm helped even more. Most concerning to me in my travels was a layer of loose, weak, sugary faceted snow that has been on the ground since October. This layer exists on northerly aspects above about 9500' and is providing an extremely unstable base.
Snow totals at Buckboard Flat (8924')
Snow totals at Camp Jackson (8858')
Wind, temperature, and humidity on Abajo Peak (11,000')
National Weather Service point forecast.
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General Announcements
Your information can save lives. If you see anything we should know about, please help us out by submitting snow and avalanche observations HERE. You can also call me at 801-647-8896, or send me an email: eric@utahavalanchecenter.org.
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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 occur.

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