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Forecast for the Salt Lake Area Mountains

Issued by Greg Gagne for Friday, November 18, 2022
The avalanche danger is LOW on all aspects and elevations. Watch for pockets of wind-drifted snow in isolated areas in the upper elevations.
Our stable weather and great early-season snow coverage is a perfect time to practice avalanche rescue skills.
Learn how to read the forecast here
Special Announcements
Most ski areas are now closed to uphill travel as they open or prepare to open for winter operations. Resort uphill travel policies can be found HERE.
Alta Ski Area has closed the Summer Road and access to Catherine's for lift area operations. Grizzly Gulch remains open.
Weather and Snow
A dry cold front is sagging into northern Utah this morning with temperatures in the upper single digits. Winds are from the northwest and light, less than 10 mph at mid elevations, while averaging in the 20's mph with slightly higher gusts at the upper-most elevations. Skies are partly cloudy.
For today, temperatures will rise into the low to mid teens with northwest winds gusting to near 20 mph at mid elevations and into the mid 20's mph at upper elevations. Skies will be partly cloudy.
Winds will shift to the northeast overnight with and will remain northerly this weekend as temperatures slowly warm under sunny skies. The extended forecast does not look promising, with an outside chance - at best - for light precipitation midweek.

Snow depths in the Central Wasatch Range are 3-4' above 9000' with varying snow surface conditions due to wind, sun, and cold temperatures. The cold temperatures and clear skies has preserved soft snow on shady slopes as the snow surface weakens and becomes faceted as well as surface hoar development (see photos below).This is not a problem presently, but this beautiful, sparkly snow may become an issue if it gets buried underneath any new snow or wind-drifted snow. As you venture out in the coming days, notice the aspects and elevations you are seeing faceted snow and/or surface hoar. We welcome your observations!
Surface Hoar (Brian Smith photo)
Near-Surface Facets (photo Schoening)
Recent Avalanches
A skier-triggered avalanche was reported from Wednesday in Upper Red Pine. The avalanche was on a northeast aspect at 10,500' and involved a small pocket of wind-drifted snow 8" deep and 70' wide where the rider was caught and carried for 350'.
Avalanche Problem #1
Normal Caution
Although the avalanche danger is Low and avalanches are unlikely, small avalanches can occur in isolated areas and Wednesday's avalanche in upper Red Pine involving a pocket of wind-drifted snow is a perfect example of the type of avalanche activity that can occur under these conditions.
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.