Forecast for the Salt Lake Area Mountains

Greg Gagne
Issued by Greg Gagne on
Friday morning, April 21, 2023
The avalanche danger is MODERATE at the upper elevations where there are fresh soft slabs of wind-drifted snow. The danger is LOW at low and mid elevations.

I am uncertain about snowfall this afternoon and the avalanche danger could quickly rise during any period of heavy snowfall. Be aware that conditions may change rapidly.
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Special Announcements
The last daily forecast will be Sunday, April 23. We will provide intermittent updates with any storm until Sunday, May 7th and will continue posting backcountry observations until then.
The UAC is sad to report that a resident was killed by a roof avalanche on Monday, April 17th, in the Town of Brighton. A report is available HERE. Many communities still have a lot of snow on roofs that could produce similar avalanches.
Weather and Snow
Snow totals from Thursday are 2-4", with some locally-higher amounts reaching 6".
This Morning: Temperatures are the mid and upper teens, but the west/northwest winds will get your attention. Above 10,000', winds are averaging in 20's with gusts in the 30's mph. Winds are much stronger at 11,000' with averages in the 40's and gusts near 60 mph.
Today: Snow will develop around midday and possibly become heavy at times later this afternoon, with 3-6" of new snow expected by early evening. Temperatures will rise into the 30's F and the west/northwest winds will remain elevated, gusting into the 30's mph above 10,000' and in the 50's and 60's mph at 11,000'.
Overnight/Saturday: Strong winds with periods of heavy snowfall possible. Snowfall totals are proving challenging to forecast, but we may see 6-12" of new snow by Saturday morning.
Extended: Sunny Sunday with a chance of snow Monday and Tuesday.
Recent Avalanches
Shallow, sensitive soft slabs up to 6" thick and 10-20' wide were reported from the backcountry on Thursday. Photo below from Jen S in the Catherine's Pass area
Avalanche Problem #1
Wind Drifted Snow
Shallow, soft slabs of wind-drifted snow will be found at the upper elevations as well as some exposed mid-elevation ridgelines. These wind drifts will mostly be found on aspects facing north through east and southeast, but you also may find fresh wind drifts on any aspect at the upper elevations due to cross-loading. Also watch for sensitive cornices along exposed ridgelines.
With a smooth bed surface, any avalanches may run fast and far.
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.