Forecast for the Uintas Area Mountains

Craig Gordon
Issued by Craig Gordon on
Wednesday morning, January 18, 2023
About as straight-forward as it gets-
MODERATE avalanche danger is found on upper elevation leeward slopes, especially in the wind zone at and above treeline. Fresh wind drifts reactive to our additional weight are POSSIBLE. While, more the exception than the rule, a rogue avalanche breaking to weak layers now buried deep in our snowpack remains POSSIBLE. The danger is most pronounced in steep, rocky terrain facing the north half of the compass.
Generally LOW avalanche danger is found on all mid and lower elevation slopes.

Learn how to read the forecast here
Special Announcements
Are you snowpack curious... wondering how it went from Zero to Hero? Well then, you came to the right place! Please join me 6:00 next Monday, January 23rd at the Kimball Junction Library for a State of the Snowpack prezo. It's gonna be informative, educational, and quite possibly entertaining :)
Weather and Snow
Nowcast- With mostly cloudy skies overhead, light snow falls across the range adding a couple more inches of ultra low density, Uber-fluff overnight. It's crisp, with temperatures starting the work day in the single digits and low teens. East and northeast winds blow 10-20 mph near the high peaks. I think our big open bowls saw a bit of wind damage overnight, but lose a little elevation and you'll be rewarded with outstanding riding.
Forecast- Light snow wraps up early this morning, but clouds linger 'til about noon and thin out as the day wares on. Northerly winds may bump into the 30's and become a nuisance near the high peaks. Temperatures climb into the mid 20's with overnight lows in the single digits.
Futurecast- Another storm is in the queue for Thursday, but dives south, delivering just scattered snow showers for our zone. Weak high pressure is on tap to round out the work week.

Brock Berry finds himself deep in the white room.
Huge thanks for all the great obs streaming in from the eastern front. Detailed trip reports and recent obs are found HERE.
Recent Avalanches
Other than a shallow wind drift or two, no significant avy activity to report. But a slew of Uinta avy obs are found HERE.
Avalanche Problem #1
Wind Drifted Snow
24 hour data dump from Windy Peak(10,662') shows recent run of southeast winds.
Recent east and northeast winds created shallow drifts on upper elevation slopes with a hint of west to their aspect, which is slightly unusual for us. So, for today... you'll find fresh wind drifts on the leeward side of upper elevation ridges, but they've been camouflaged under a few inches of fresh snow, making them hard to detect. Manageable in size and breaking at or below our skis, board, or sled this is an easy avalanche dragon to avoid... lose the wind and you lose the problem.

Avalanche Problem #2
Persistent Weak Layer
In this viddy, Mark most excellently describes the how and why our snowpack is turning the corner
Can I trigger a deep, dangerous avalanche that breaks to the midpack November facets? Yeah... but I've really gotta hunt this one out and all the planets have to align to ruin my day. Likely suspects include steep, rocky, upper elevation terrain where the snowpack is lean or slopes that avalanched earlier this season and are therefore slightly more thin and fragile. I'm stepping out cautiously, but with intent, gathering as much snowpack intel as I can along the way.
Additional Information
Weather stations-
And... rime events have severely crippled the Uinta weather station network. I'm working to get it back up and running and this real-time winter info is found HERE (click weather stations, and then on the Western Uinta tab)
Your observations are important, so please let me know what you're seeing... click HERE and contribute to this amazing community-based program
General Announcements
Issued at 03:43 on Wednesday January 18th, this forecast expires 24 hours after the date and time posted, but will be updated by 07:00 Thursday January 19th, 2023.
Before it gets too crazy, now is the time to book an avalanche awareness presentation for your group, club, or posse. You can reach Craig directly at 801-231-2170 or [email protected].

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.