Forecast for the Abajos Area Mountains

Issued by Eric Trenbeath for Wednesday, January 9, 2019 - 7:44am
The avalanche danger is CONSIDERABLE - new snow, and wind drifted snow have dangerously overloaded a weak snowpack, and human triggered avalanches on steep slopes facing W-N-E are likely if not certain. Signs of instability include collapsing and cracking in the snow surface. Backcountry travelers need to possess excellent route finding skills and know how to avoid steep, avalanche prone terrain - this includes not usually recognized areas such as gullys, steep banks, or the toes of moraines. Slopes do not need to be that tall to bury you.
Low
Moderate
Considerable
High
Extreme
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Weather and Snow
Southerly winds picked up a bit around 9:00 p.m. last night and have been averaging 15 mph with gusts into the 20's. Mountain temps are currently in the mid 20's. Today look for mostly sunny skies with a few high clouds, breezy SW winds, and temps at 10,000' around 30 degrees. A weak disturbance will bring clouds to the area on Thu-Fri with dry conditions through the weekend.
I had a look around on Saturday, and though conditions remain thin, they are improving. Sunday's storm brought another 8"-10" to the mountains. 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 for any additional snow load. Recently triggered avalanches failed on this weak layer.
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.
Recent Avalanches
Dustin Randall sent in these pics of sled triggered avalanches that occurred on Monday.
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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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