Forecast for the Provo Area Mountains

Mark Staples
Issued by Mark Staples for
Tuesday, April 5, 2022
Today the avalanche danger is MODERATE at upper elevations where unstable soft slabs of wind drifted snow most likely exist. These wind slabs will be shallow. How dangerous they are will be determined by the terrain you're in. The danger at mid and low elevations is LOW but there could be some fresh wind slabs at these elevations to look out for as well.
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Special Announcements
Weather and Snow
This morning it's warm, windy, raining, and snowing. As of 5 a.m. the rain snow line was hovering somewhere above 8000 ft but will be dropping as cold air descends from the north. Temperatures are quickly cooling as I type this and 2-4 inches of snow has fallen so far at upper elevations with rain at many other placess. At the onset of precipitation, temperatures were in the mid to upper 30s F. Gusty WINDS are averaging 10-30 mph gusting 30-45 mph from the west.
Today a bit more snow will fall, maybe another inch or two and temperatures should drop into the upper teens F this morning at upper elevations while many trailhead temperatures should be 28-30 degrees F. Strong winds will continue from the west and will ease some this afternoon.
The rest of the week should be warm and dry with a ridge of high pressure dominating the weather. Things begin changing Saturday with (according to the National Weather Service) a "pattern flip to a more wet and cool period". Some snow may fall early next week but no major storms are in the long range forecasts.
As for the snow, warm and very windy weather overnight has created a highly variable snow surface. The highest north-facing slopes had a little soft snow yesterday that was likely affected by strong winds last night.
Recent Avalanches
There has been no recent avalanche activity.
Avalanche Problem #1
Wind Drifted Snow
West winds plus a few inches of new snow have formed shallow soft slabs of wind drifted snow at upper elevations. You may find a few of these wind slabs at mid and low elevations where they likely bonded to the warm and wet snow surface.
If you're headed to high peaks and more extreme terrain today, these wind slabs may be small, but they can be a major threat because they can knock you off your feet and cause a fall. ​​​
Heads up - The snow was either damp from warm temperatures which were near freezing overnight at 10,000 ft or it was damp as a little rain fell at the onset of precipitation. As air temperatures quickly cool this morning (they have dropped about 10 degrees in the last several hours), a strong temperature gradient could form some very small facets just under the new snow. I mention this possibility because it means that any wind slabs could remain unstable for a number of days this week. I was caught in an avalanche from this exact situation years ago on May 1st on a high elevation north facing slope at the top of a couloir.

General Announcements
Who's up for some free avalanche training? Get a refresher, become better prepared for an upcoming avalanche class, or just boost your skills. Go to and scroll down to Step 2 for a series of interactive online avalanche courses produced by the UAC.
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.