Forecast for the Abajos Area Mountains

Issued by Mark Staples for Thursday, March 14, 2019 - 7:33am
Avoid all steep slopes and all avalanche terrain today. For this reason the avalanche danger is HIGH on all slopes above treeline. All other terrain has a CONSIDERABLE danger.
Avalanches will break 2-3 feet deep in the new snow. Avalanches may break on buried weak layers on open slopes near or above treeline. These avalanches would be massive.
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Weather and Snow
Since Tuesday morning nearly 15 to 20 inches of snow has fallen at low elevations. Upper elevations likely have almost 3 feet of new snow.
Temperatures this morning range from the mid teens F to single digits.
Winds blew from the west yesterday but slowly shifted to the north overnight. Currently they are blowing 7 mph gusting to 16 mph. However, I suspect some icing on the wind sensor and winds may be stronger.
Today will have some sun and clouds. Overall skies will be clearing. Cold north winds will keep temperatures from rising much. Winds will be gusty today reaching 25 mph but may calm by late this afternoon.

Snotel totals at Buckboard Flat (8924')
Snotel totals at Camp Jackson (8858')
Wind, temperature, and humidity on Abajo Peak (11,000')
National Weather Service point forecast.
Recent Avalanches
Yesterday a skier was able to trigger a slab avalanche in the new snow on a small slope. Bigger slopes will produce bigger avalanches in the new snow. Any with wind drifted snow will be especially likely to avalanche.
With such a heavy load of snow in a short amount of time, buried weak layers have been stressed and could produce much deeper and larger avalanches like one that occurred last Friday in Horse Creek of the La Sals. It broke 6-12 feet deep and 2,500 feet wide (photo below).
Additional Information
Carry appropriate rescue gear: beacon, probe, shovel, and choose where you ride based on the avalanche forecast for the day!
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:
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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.

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