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Forecast for the Moab Area Mountains

Issued by Eric Trenbeath for Wednesday, November 9, 2022
Strong southerly winds and new snow will create a rising avalanche danger today. Expect wind drifted snow to form unstable slabs on leeward sides of ridge crests and terrain features, primarily on mid to upper elevation slopes with a northerly aspect. Fresh wind drifts are recognizable by their smooth rounded appearance and cracking is a sign of instability. Avoid steep, wind drifted slopes in your travels today.
It's still low tide out there and rocks, stumps, and deadfall are lurking just beneath the surface. A ride in even a small avalanche in these low snow conditions would be quite rough.
Low
Moderate
Considerable
High
Extreme
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Special Announcements
We've not yet begun issuing regular daily avalanche forecasts but will update this page as conditions warrant. Also follow us on Instagram @utavy_moab
Tonight is the last night for the Utah Snow and Avalanche Workshop (USAW). Sign up and get more details here.
Road Conditions: Grand County has not yet begun plowing the road to Geyser Pass Trailhead. Expect to find mixed mud and snowpacked conditions. Good tires and all wheel drive are recommended.
Weather and Snow
A good looking storm system is on our doorstep with what looks to be some decent snowfall accompanied by strong southerly winds. It should start getting after it mid-morning, but I'm seeing quite a spread for snow totals with anywhere from 6"-12" possible. South winds will crank in the 35-45 mph range with gusts into the 50's only tapering off slightly later in the day. Temps will be quite warm, in the mid to upper 20's, before cratering into the single digits tonight. Tomorrow should be sunny and cold.
Warm temperatures this week have settled the snowpack down to around 15" at the Gold Basin Study plot with deepest depths in the range averaging around 20". These warm temperatures should have had a calming effect on the thin layer of sugary, faceted snow that Dave Garcia and I identified earlier this week, and overall, the underlying snowpack is dense and supportable (see this recent observation). The downside has been strong southerly winds over the past couple of days. These winds have stripped southerly aspects, while alternately drifting snow on to northerly facing slopes. New snow and wind today will continue to create fresh drifts on northerly aspects increasing the likelihood for human triggered avalanches on steep, wind drifted slopes. Low snow conditions also continue to create a hazard so tread lightly out there.
If you are getting up into the mountains please submit an observation and let us know what you are seeing!
Get the most recent observations here.
Get current and past 24-hour readings from these real-time weather links:
Snow and Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) at the Gold Basin SNOTEL site (10,000')
Snow and Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) near the Geyser Pass Winter Trailhead (9600')
Wind Speed and Direction on Pre-Laurel Peak (11,400')
NWS point forecast for the La Sal Mountains.
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Additional Information
General Announcements
Please submit your observations from the backcountry HERE.

This information does not apply to developed ski areas or highways where avalanche control is normally done. 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.