Forecast for the Salt Lake Area Mountains

Issued by Evelyn Lees for Thursday, February 8, 2018 - 5:51am

The snow is stable in most areas and avalanches are generally unlikely. But LOW danger does not mean no danger. Avalanches stepping into old snow remain possible in isolated steep terrain with poor snow structure. The most experienced people are still avoiding the bulls-eye avalanche terrain - steep, north and northeast facing slopes at the mid and upper elevations.

Loose sluffs and small wind drifts can be triggered today on steep slopes, and wet loose sluffs will become an issue anywhere the snow becomes damp with daytime heating.

Low
Moderate
Considerable
High
Extreme
Learn more about the ratings here
Special Announcements

The UAC Marketplace is still open. Our online marketplace still has deals on skis, packs, airbag packs, beacons, snowshoes, soft goods and much more.

Benefit the Utah Avalanche Center when you buy or sell on eBay - set the Utah Avalanche Center as a favorite non-profit in your eBay account here and click on eBay gives when you buy or sell. You can choose to have your seller fees donated to the UAC, which doesn't cost you a penny

Weather and Snow

It’s a warm morning, with temperatures in the twenties under clear skies. The wind direction ranges from southwest to northwest, with 10 to 15 mph averages, and gusts just a bit stronger.

Yesterday’s sun and wind took their toll on many slopes, but there’s still plenty of good soft snow on shady, wind-sheltered slopes.

Recent Avalanches

A few dry loose sluffs were the only activity reported from the backcountry.

A cornice drop producing a sluff in West Monitor. Mark White photo

Ad
Avalanche Problem #1
Persistent Weak Layer
Type
Location
Likelihood
Size
Description

Although unlikely, persistent slab avalanches remain possible in isolated steep terrain. The most experienced people are still avoiding the bulls-eye terrain - steep, north and northeast facing slopes, especially those that are rocky, wind loaded or have a shallow snowpack. These are the slopes where you are most likely to trigger one of these deeper slab avalanches.

· Widespread buried faceted layers appear dormant now, and persistent slab avalanches are unlikely, but if you trigger one it will be dangerous.

· Pay attention to possible signs of instability like cracking and whumpfing or collapsing, but remember these signs may not be present so you have to dig down and look for the poor snow structure.

· If you choose to travel on steep slopes, select slopes with clean run outs, where a mistake in your stability evaluation won’t send you rocketing off a cliff, into trees or into a gully.

A video by Drew discussing terrain choices yesterday - stil applicable today.

Avalanche Problem #2
Normal Caution
Type
Location
Likelihood
Size
Description

Loose Dry Sluffs

Dry loose sluffs can still be triggered today in continuously steep, shady terrain, and are just large enough to knock you off your feet and take you for a ride.

Loose Wet Sluffs

Wet loose sluffs can be triggered today on steep, sunny slopes as the snow heats up. During periods of high, thin clouds, “green housing” could occur, with the snow becoming damp on the shady slopes, too.

Wind Slabs:

A few hours of stronger winds overnight may have created a few new wind drifts. They often look smooth and rounded, will mostly be along upper elevation ridge lines and should be avoided on steep slopes.

Additional Information

Another warm day is on tap, with mountain temperatures soaring into the 30s and 40s. Skies will be mostly clear, with a few high thin clouds passing over. The winds will vary from southwest to northwest, average 5 to 15 mph at the mid elevations. Speeds across the high peaks could reach averages of 20 to 30 mph at times, with gusts to 40s. Increasing winds on Friday, with a chance for a few snow showers on Saturday and cooler temperatures.

General Announcements

CLICK HERE FOR MORE GENERAL INFO AND FAQ

The UAC has new support programs with Outdoor Research and Darn Tough. Support the UAC through your daily shopping. When you shop at Smith's, or online at Outdoor Research, REI, Backcountry.com, Darn Tough, Patagonia, NRS, Amazon, eBay a portion of your purchase will be donated to the FUAC. See our Donate Page for more details on how you can support the UAC when you shop.

Benefit the Utah Avalanche Center when you buy or sell on eBay - set the Utah Avalanche Center as a favorite non-profit in your eBay account here and click on eBay gives when you buy or sell. You can choose to have your seller fees donated to the UAC, which doesn't cost you a penny

This information does not apply to developed ski areas or highways where avalanche control is normally done. This advisory is from the U.S.D.A. Forest Service, which is solely responsible for its content. This advisory describes general avalanche conditions and local variations always occur.

Support the Avalanche Center through your purchases

Discount lift tickets
All proceeds from ticket sales benefit the UAC when you purchase your next lift tickets.
Need new gear?
Make your next purchase from our Affiliate Partners and the UAC will receive a portion of the sales.
Shop
Sign up for our newsletters, emails and daily forecasts to stay up to date.
Subscribe