Please help the UAC save lives by donating to the spring fundraising campaign. Help us attain our goal of raising $25,000 in 14 days.  

Forecast for the Salt Lake Area Mountains

Issued by Greg Gagne for Wednesday, March 13, 2019 - 3:58am
A cold and windy storm may create sensitive storm snow and wind-drifted snow at the mid and upper elevations. This includes long-running sluffs, storm slabs, and fresh wind drifts. The overall avalanche hazard is MODERATE, but it may spike to CONSIDERABLE during any period of heavy snowfall. Human triggered avalanches are possible. Natural avalanches are unlikely, but possible during periods of heavy snowfall or stronger winds.
Low
Moderate
Considerable
High
Extreme
Learn how to read the forecast here
Special Announcements
11 AM UPDATE - UDOT HAS CLOSED LCC NORTH SIDE SUPERIOR THROUGH CARDIFF PASS FROM 10:30 AM TIL 6 PM FOR AVALANCHE CONTROL WORK. (MAP) PLEASE STAY EAST OF CARDIFF BOWL.
Chapter 5 in the LOW Danger series has been published. It's the first of two first-hand accounts of the Blue Ice avalanche from January 5th. One can find all the chapters in the Blog page in the menu above.
Chapter 6 in the LOW Danger series is now published. It's the second of two first hand accounts of the Blue Ice avalanche from January 5th.
Thanks to these two. These stories need to be told.

Enjoy spring skiing at Snowbasin Resort. The UAC has discount Snowbasin tickets available. INFO
Weather and Snow
A strong cold front entered the Wasatch mountains overnight with snowfall beginning just after midnight. As of 7 am snow totals are 4-8”, with the highest amounts in upper Little Cottonwood. Winds are out of the northwest and gusty. At the mid elevations winds are averaging less than 10 mph, with gusts in the teens. At upper elevations wind are averaging in the teens with gusts in the 20’s. Gusts are in the 30’s at 11,000’. Mountain temperatures range through the teens F.
For today, expect periods of moderate to heavy snowfall, with storm totals of 8-16" by late afternoon; highest amounts in upper Little Cottonwood which fares very well with a northwest flow. Temperatures will be in the teens at mid and upper elevations, and low to mid 20's F at lower elevations. Winds will be out of the northwest. At the mid elevations winds will average in the teens, with gusts in the 20’s mph. At upper elevations add about 10 mph to those numbers, averaging in the teens and low 20’s mph, with gusts in the 30’s mph.
Continued snowfall is expected overnight, with an additional 3-6" possible. Highest amounts in upper Little Cottonwood. Clearing during the day on Thursday, with cool temperatures in the teens and 20's mph.
For the extended forecast, Friday looks to remain cool, but a strong ridge of high pressure moves in and stays put for awhile. 10,000' temperatures will be above freezing by Sunday.
Recent Avalanches
Cloud cover and southwest winds kept wet activity to a minimum on Tuesday, with only minor wet loose activity reported.
Ad
Avalanche Problem #1
New Snow
Type
Location
Likelihood
Size
Description
Moderate to occasionally heavy snowfall may lead to periods of sensitive storm snow today. This includes long-running sluffs, especially on north aspects at the upper elevations, as well as sensitive storm slabs during any period of higher intensity snowfall (such as shown in the photo below). Watch for signs of instability such as cracking and sluffing.
The sensitivity of the storm snow largely depends on the rate of snowfall - if it snows at a moderate rate (less than 1"/hr) the new snow will be less sensitive. Higher rates of snowfall (greater than 1" per hour) will lead to increased sensitivity. Periods of snowfall exceeding 1" per hour are possible during the day today.
Ski cuts (where you move diagonally across a slope in a downward direction) are a very effective mitigation technique for managing this sort of hazard, but be sure to check no one is below you before cutting a slope.
Avalanche Problem #2
Wind Drifted Snow
Type
Location
Likelihood
Size
Description
Northwest winds will create fresh wind drifts at the mid and upper elevations, primarily on aspects facing east through south, but cross-loading is possible on any aspect. Some drifts could be up to 12-18” thick, especially along upper elevation ridgelines. With plenty of low-density snowfall available for transport, any fresh wind drifts may form quickly. Additionally, these fresh wind drifts will increase the size of our already huge cornices adorning many ridgelines, making them possibly even more sensitive. Stay well back from - and avoid travel below - corniced ridges.
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.

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