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Forecast for the Moab Area Mountains

Issued by Eric Trenbeath for Friday, April 12, 2019 - 7:14am
The avalanche danger is MODERATE today with two very different avalanche problems. At the upper elevations, be on the lookout for recent deposits of wind drifted snow on the lee sides of ridge crests and terrain features. On drifted slopes facing N-E-SE you may find areas of CONSIDERABLE danger. And as the day heats up, be alert to a rising danger for wet slide activity. Signs of instability include roller balls, pinwheels, and loose snow sluffs. Get off of, and out from under steep slopes if they start to become wet and sloppy.
Low
Moderate
Considerable
High
Extreme
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Special Announcements
Grand County plowed yesterday but the road is very narrow and snow packed with chunks of plow debris. Dirt is exposed in some places and it will get muddy today.
Sunday, April 14 will be the last regular advisory for the season. I will post updates as conditions warrant through the rest of the month. As we wind down I want to thank our local supporters including Moab Gear Trader, Talking Mountain Yurts, and ROAM Industry, for helping make this a great season!
Thank you to everyone who supported our spring fundraiser. We reached and exceeded our goals. The UAC could not exist without your support.
Weather and Snow
Skies are clear, northerly winds are mostly light, and 10,000' temps are in the single digits. Clouds should rebuild over the mountains as the atmosphere destabilizes beneath the cold air. Light, northeasterly winds will shift back to the SW later today, and high temps will be in the low 30's. High pressure builds over the weekend with mostly sunny conditions through Monday.
Wednesday's storm delivered 24" of powder, and conditions were pretty all time, especially for April. Effects from the wind were mostly relegated to the exposed upper elevations, and we found the snow to be mostly non-reactive. The sun poked out briefly and it did affect the snow surface in spotty areas, but good snow will still be found today. Things will change rapidly as the sun turns on today, so get up there and get it!
New snow totals in Gold Basin (10,000')
Snotel totals at the Geyser Pass Trailhead (9600')
Winds at 11,000 feet on Abajo Peak (11,330') about 45 miles south.
National Weather Service point forecast.
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Avalanche Problem #1
Wind Drifted Snow
Type
Location
Likelihood
Size
Description
Strong west and northwest winds during the storm blew and drifted snow onto leeward slopes, primarily at upper elevations. The danger is greatest on slopes facing N-E-SE. Cross loading is also a factor - look for drifts on the lee sides of gully walls and beneath rock outcroppings. Wind drifts are recognizable by their smooth, rounded, "pillowy" appearance, and cracking in the snow surface is a sign of instability. Continue to be wary of recent deposits of wind drifted snow and avoid steep, wind drifted slopes.
Avalanche Problem #2
Wet Snow
Type
Location
Likelihood
Size
Description
The new snow will be very susceptible to the effects of the sun, and you will need to be alert to a rising danger for wet snow avalanches today. Signs of instability include roller balls, pinwheels, and point release sluffs. Stay off of, and out from under steep slopes as they start to get wet and sloppy.
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 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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