Forecast for the Abajos Area Mountains

Dave Garcia
Issued by Dave Garcia for
Wednesday, March 15, 2023
A warm and moist storm will bring heavy snow and strong winds to the Abajo Mountains today. Backcountry travelers need to be alert to changing conditions and be on the lookout for freshly formed slabs of wind drifted snow.
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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')

Snowpack Summary and General Conditions
Matt Cozart was out and about on Monday and reported rain up to 9,000 ft. He also reported 8 inches of dense snow and good skiing in the higher elevations. It seems the rain on snow has consolidated the snowpack, and any weaknesses associated with rain should be locked up at this point.
The avalanche danger will be on the rise today. The mountains could pick up 8 inches during the day, and maybe a foot by the time it's all said and done. Strong winds will create unstable slabs of wind drifted snow at mid and upper elevation bands. Instabilities could develop in the new snow during times of heaviest snowfall, especially if the mountains receive a foot of snow. Use small, steep test slopes to see how the new snow is reacting. Weak interfaces exist on some slopes with a Northerly component to their aspect. These slopes should be avoided during this storm. Let's give it some time and see how these slopes react to this loading event.
Springtime in the mountains means that things can change quickly and there can be an assortment of avalanche problems within an hour or an aspect of one another. It is a good time to year to be willing to adapt and change your plan if the weather or snow conditions change.
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.