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Forecast for the Abajos Area Mountains

Dave Garcia
Issued by Dave Garcia for
Thursday, February 8, 2024
Recent heavy snowfall and very strong winds have caused the danger to rise to HIGH in the Abajo/Blue Mountains. Deep and dangerous natural avalanches failing on a buried persistent weak layer are LIKELY. Human-triggered avalanches are VERY LIKELY. Do not travel on steep slopes. Do not travel below steep slopes. You can trigger avalanches from steep slopes above you, even if you are standing on flat terrrain.
These are very dangerous avalanche conditions. Travel in avalanche terrain is not recommended.
Low
Moderate
Considerable
High
Extreme
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Avalanche Warning
THE FOREST SERVICE UTAH AVALANCHE CENTER IN MOAB HAS ISSUED AN AVALANCHE WARNING FOR THE ABAJO/BLUE MOUNTAINS IN SOUTHEAST UTAH.
* TIMING...10 AM MST TUESDAY THROUGH 6 AM MST FRIDAY.
* AFFECTED AREA...FOR THE ABAJO/BLUE MOUNTAINS OF SOUTHEASTERN UTAH.
* AVALANCHE DANGER...THE AVALANCHE DANGER HAS RISEN TO HIGH.
* REASON/IMPACTS...HEAVY SNOWFALL AND VERY STRONG WINDS FROM THE SOUTH WILL OVERLOAD PRE-EXISTING LAYERS IN THE SNOWPACK. PEOPLE WILL BE ABLE TO TRIGGER AVALANCHES FOR A DISTANCE WITHOUT EVEN GETTING ONTO A STEEP SLOPE. OTHER AVALANCHES WILL HAPPEN SPONTANEOUSLY AND CRASH DOWN ON THEIR OWN. AVOID BEING ON OR UNDER ANY STEEP SLOPES. PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT THESE DEADLY CONDITIONS.
Weather and Snow
The most recent storm dropped a foot of new snow, with 1.7" of Snow Water Equivalent (SWE). This is dense, heavy snow and a widespread storm slab has formed across the range. Snowfall will continue today and we can expect 3-5" today and possibly another 3-5" tonight. The strong Southerly winds will continue to blow 25 to 30 mph with gusts up to 45 mph. These strong winds will blow and drift snow into unstable slabs. The blowing and drifting snow is keeping the avalanche danger rated at HIGH. It will be very easy to trigger avalanches in fresh slabs of wind-drifted snow. These avalanches can step down to the buried persistent weak layer (PWL), causing very deep, dangerous, and deadly avalanches. The PWL remains very sensitive and you can trigger avalanches from a distance without even being on a steep slope. This is called a remote trigger.
Snowfall will continue through Saturday. Totals for Friday and Saturday don't look that impressive, but we will see accumulating snow each day until things finally calm down Saturday night.
NWS forecast for the Abajo Mountains.
Snow totals and temps at Buckboard Flat (8924')
Snow totals and temps at Camp Jackson (8858')
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.