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of the nonprofit Utah Avalanche Center.
Yesterday's cold front was a powerful storm with strong pre-frontal southerly wind averaging 40-50 mph with gusts into the 80s and 90s. The cold front swept rapidly across the state, bringing booming thunder, strong wind, and a bust of heavy snowfall. From mountain peaks to the valley bottoms, we picked up roughly 5-10 inches of new snow across the board (0.53-0.78" swe).
This morning, under overcast skies, it’s snowing. Mountain temperatures are in the single digits °F. The wind is blowing from the southwest at speeds of 15-25 mph gusting into the 30s and 40s across the mid and upper elevations. The free air (11,000') moves faster from the southwest, blowing 30-50 mph and gusting into the 70s.
Today, we will see an additional 2-5 inches of snowfall. The best chance for the snow will be in the morning hours before it tapers off for the afternoon. Unfortunately, west and southwest wind will stay elevated, blowing 20-30 mph and gusting into the 40s across the mid and upper elevations throughout the day.
As yesterday's cold front came through, we saw snowfall rates easily reach 2-4 inches per hour snowfall. During this time, I imagine we saw a widespread natural avalanche cycle within the wind-drifted snow and the new snow. Dave Kelly was out late yesterday after the storm and has an observation HERE.
Photo: Dave Kelly, showing a small soft slab avalanche.