Forecast for the Salt Lake Area Mountains

Issued by Eric Trenbeath for Tuesday, March 19, 2019 - 5:40am
The avalanche danger is generally LOW and snow conditions are mostly stable. Low danger doesn't mean no danger and it is still important to maintain avalanche awareness. On very steep, upper elevation, northerly aspects, it is still possible to trigger small, loose, dry sluffs that could carry you over a cliff if you were caught unaware. And as the day heats up, minimize your exposure to loose, wet avalanches by avoiding steep slopes that are becoming wet and sloppy.
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Special Announcements
For those heading out before the regular forecast is available (which occurs at about 7 am), you can call the Dawn Patrol Hotline at 888-999-4019 option 6. The dawn patrol recording is available by about 5 am, and summarizes weather, recent avalanche activity, and the overall general avalanche hazard for that day.
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Weather and Snow
Skies are clear, winds are light from the WNW, and upper elevation temps are in the upper teens to low 20's. Today will be a beautiful, sunny day in the mountains though we’ll see a slight increase in winds with a shift to the ESE by afternoon. 9000’ temps today will climb to near 40 degrees.
Though much of the central Wasatch has a lot of tracks, dry powder snow can still be found on upper elevation, northerly aspects. You can also harvest corn on south facing slopes but you will want to be off of them by around noon. Today will be the last day to enjoy the relative stability under clear skies as a weak but active weather pattern is setting up for the latter part of the week. By tomorrow we’ll see breezy conditions and partly cloudy skies with a chance of snow developing by Thursday, though unfortunately for you folks, it looks like most of the energy will be diving south toward my neck of the woods.
Though I'm sure you all are getting bored with the current weather, I was thrilled to be back in the Wasatch with beautiful weather and mostly stable conditions. Yesterday, my partner Tom Diegel and I took a trip up to Twin Peaks and were duly rewarded.
Recent Avalanches
Human triggered minor sluffing continues to occur with wet loose sluffs on steep sunny aspects, and small dry sluffs on steep northerly aspects at the upper elevations.
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Normal Caution
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Description
Though the avalanche danger is generally low, there is always an inherent avalanche risk associated with backcountry mountain travel. Continue to practice safe travel techniques and carry appropriate rescue gear - beacon, probe, and shovel. Be mindful of terrain choices and be alert to potential problems. The most likely potential problems you could encounter are:
1) Loose wet avalanches: As the day heats up, avoid steep slopes that are becoming wet and sloppy. Stay out from under sun-baked, rocky, snow covered faces and avoid steep couloirs that can act as solar ovens. Start early, and end early when venturing into this type of terrain.
2) Loose dry avalanches: Be mindful of loose, dry avalanches on steep, upper elevation, northerly aspects, especially in areas of more radical terrain. Though mostly small, and relatively benign, you could be swept over a cliff or rock band if caught unaware.
Additional Information
Thinking about a trip to the Provo mountains or further south to the La Sals? It is a much different avalanche situation to our south with significantly more dangerous avalanche conditions. Be sure to check the forecasts for Provo (link) or the La Sals (link) as you plan your trip. The photo below is from the Provo mountains on Sunday where a wet slide buried the Squaw Peak road with 15' of debris.
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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