Forecast for the Provo Area Mountains

Greg Gagne
Issued by Greg Gagne for
Friday, November 11, 2022
The avalanche danger is MODERATE at the upper elevations where there are pockets of wind-drifted snow. Smooth, rounded pillows of snow are signs of wind-drifted snow and cracking is evidence of instability.
There is a LOW danger at low and mid elevations.
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Special Announcements
Many ski areas are now closed to uphill travel in order to prepare for winter operations. Resort uphill travel policies can be found HERE.
Weather and Snow
Snow: Some mountain locations picked up a dusting of light snow late yesterday, with storm totals since Monday of 1-2' of snow containing over 2" of water.
Currently: Temperatures this morning are in the low teens and winds from the west/northwest and light, averaging less than 10 mph with gusts in the teens at mid elevations. 11,000' winds increased overnight, with gusts in the 30's mph, but have diminished and are now averaging in the teens with gusts in the 20's mph.
Today: Mostly sunny with a few clouds. Temperatures will rise into the mid 20's F and the northwest winds will remain light, gusting into the teens at mid elevations and into the mid 20's mph at the highest elevations. High-level clouds will increase late in the day and winds will remain generally light, backing to the south and southwest for Saturday as a weak system that only delivers a few clouds moves through. High pressure builds behind this weak system. Unfortunately, we see no new snow in the extended forecast period.

The Week in Review is centric to the Salt Lake mountains and will appear regularly by early to mid-December, but given the impressive storm cycle over this past week, we have published a special early November edition.
Recent Avalanches
No avalanches were reported from Thursday, but Josh Martineau saw evidence of wind-drifted snow on the north. ridge of Maple Mountain. A large natural avalanche was reported on Wednesday off the NE Chute of Elk Point, running over 4,000' vertical.
Further north in the Salt Lake mountains, several observers found pockets of sensitive, wind-drifted snow at the upper elevations, including on a southeast aspect at 9,500' on Flagstaff Ridge that was 7" and 50' wide (photo below).
We received several excellent observations from Thursday and I recommend you include reviewing all observations as part of your backcountry planning.
Avalanche Problem #1
Wind Drifted Snow
Pockets of recent and fresh wind-drifted snow can be found on all aspects along upper-elevation ridgelines. Several observers found wind-drifted snow and small cornices reactive on Thursday and, although they may be less sensitive today, I am expecting pockets of sensitive wind-drifted snow can still be found at the upper elevations. Watch for cracking in the wind-drifted snow, such as shown in the photo below from Weston Shirey's observation from upper Little Cottonwood, as an indication of sensitive conditions.
Trend: Decreasing danger.
Additional Information
A Few Things to Remember:
  • Whether you're-hiking, hunting, skiing, boarding, snowshoeing or on a snowmachine, be prepared for avalanches
  • Any avalanche can produce serious trauma because of a thin, early-season snowpack
  • Hitting rocks and stumps remains a real danger. Don't end your season early.
  • Treat ski resorts as backcountry terrain and check out the UAC site for resort uphill travel policies
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.