Forecast for the Provo Area Mountains

Issued by Drew Hardesty for Saturday, January 5, 2019 - 7:11am
Today's avalanche danger is generally LOW. Pockets of new and developing wind drifts may be found in isolated terrain. The danger may reach MODERATE in some areas later today. Remember that risk is inherent in mountain travel - even a small avalanche can be significant in radical, no-fall terrain.

BIG PICTURE: The danger will be on the rise over the next several days and may reach HIGH in some areas. Stay tuned.
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Weather and Snow
Skies are clear.
Mountain temps are in the mid 30s.
The southwesterlies picked up and are blowing 25-30mph with gusts to 40. The most exposed anemometers have gusts into the 40s and 50s.
Skiing and riding conditions have been pretty good in the sheltered terrain, but that slice of pie is narrowing by the hour.
Total snow depths are 30-40" in the upper elevations with 1-2' down low.

Two significant storm systems are on the doorstep. The first one arrives this evening with snow falling overnight into Sunday afternoon. Most areas can expect 6-12" of new snow. A warm front pushes the door down Sunday night into Monday with another round of denser snow with hourly wind speeds in the 45-55mph range. This may offer another 4-8", but this may be under-done. There are some hints that, for the combined storms, we may see upwards of 2" of snow-water-equivalent (perhaps translating to up to nearly 15-20"+ of snow) by late Monday.
Recent Avalanches
A few more wet loose sluffs noted in steep southerly terrain yesterday, but otherwise quiet.

Three snowmobilers had a very close call in Providence Canyon up in the Logan area mountains yesterday and you can find more info on the Observations and Avalanches page. The avalanche was on a steep wind drifted south facing slope at 9000'. Logan forecaster Toby Weed spoke to the individuals and his photo is below. If you are one of of those Instagram people, you can find more on this @logan_avalanche_uac or on YouTube here.
Avalanche Problem #1
Normal Caution
The snow is mostly stable. The mountains have seen a fair bit of wind over the past week or so and much of it blew from the northwest, and north through east. The current winds, however, are from the south and southwest and while there isn't that much snow to blow around, there is some and shallow drifts may be found in isolated terrain today. I do think that incoming clouds and wind will keep the lid on any wet avalanche activity.
Additional Information
General Announcements
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.

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