12th Annual Utah Snow & Avalanche Workshop Open and Motorized Sessions November 2.

Forecast for the Salt Lake Area Mountains

Issued by Mark Staples for Sunday, October 20, 2019 - 7:26am
Very strong winds and heavy snowfall occurred overnight. This is a very good recipe for avalanches. Winds have been drifting snow even at low elevations. Many slabs of wind drifted snow exist and could probably be triggered today.
Some snow fell in early September, but these two storms (Oct 17 & 19) have brought the first major snow of the season. This recent snow will likely form the foundation for the snowpack at least on northerly aspects where it won't melt in coming weeks. This snow and subsequent snow will change a lot and potentially set the stage for avalanche conditions later this winter. We will be watching it closely.
Learn how to read the forecast here
Weather and Snow
There have been two rounds of snowfall. The first came on Thursday, Oct 17th followed by much more snow that started Saturday evening, Oct 19.
SNOWFALL In upper Little Cottonwood Canyon (LCC) at 9700 feet:
  • Thursday's storm delivered 8 inches of snow (containing 0.62 inches of water).
  • Saturday/Sunday's storm delivered 13 inches of snow (containing 1.42 inches of water) as of 0700 Sunday morning.
  • More snow will fall Sunday and Sunday night.
VERY STRONG WESTERLY WINDS blew Sunday morning (Oct 20th).
  • At 8500 ft in LCC, winds were averaging 17 mph and gusting 35-45 mph
  • At 11,000 ft in LCC winds were averaging 40-60 mph and gusting 60-80 mph
Trent was installing weather stations in upper LCC yesterday and made this quick video:
If you go out, there are a few things to remember:
  1. Hitting rocks and stumps is a real danger. Don't end your season before it starts with an injury from hitting one of these obstacles.
  2. Avalanches are a real possibility. It doesn't matter if you are hiking, hunting, skiing, etc., be prepared with rescue gear and a partner. Many people have died during early season snow storms. Listen to this podcast episode about a bad day in November 2011 when many avalanches were triggered and pro skier Jamie Pierre died.
  3. Ski resorts all have different uphill travel policies. Some are closed, like Snowbird, others are open. These closed resorts can be great places to get in a little skiing especially in you know of a rock free slope, but it should be treated as backcountry terrain. More info HERE but check with each resort for the latest info.
12th Annual Utah Snow and Avalanche Workshop - USAW will be November 2nd this year.
  • Register HERE for the regular Saturday session.
  • There is a special morning session on Saturday specifically for snowmobilers. Register for that session HERE.
  • Lastly there is a special session designed for avalanche workers like ski patrollers on Friday to cover work related topics. Register for that session HERE.
Boondockers 16 Utah Premiere and Fundraiser - October 26th at the Brewvies. Get tickets HERE.
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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