Forecast for the Uintas Area Mountains

Issued by Craig Gordon for Friday, March 15, 2019 - 3:11am
Heads up.... the avalanche danger is more pronounced on the North Slope which received the lion's share of Wednesday's storm
On the south half of the compass-
On steep upper elevation slopes the danger of wet avalanches increases to CONSIDERABLE with daytime heating and human triggered avalanches are LIKELY, especially on slopes facing the south half of the compass.
Mid and low elevation terrain start the day with LOW avalanche danger, which rises to MODERATE as temperatures rise. Human triggered avalanches are POSSIBLE on steep sun baked slopes during the heat of the day..
On the north half of the compass-
MODERATE danger exists on steep, shady slopes in the wind zone and human triggered avalanches are POSSIBLE on steep, leeward slopes.
Learn how to read the forecast here
Weather and Snow
Skies cleared last night, temperatures dipped into the single digits where they sit this morning, and northwest winds blow in the teens and mid 20's along the high ridges. And in case you missed Wednesday night's storm.... WOW.... what a storm! Snow totals were very region specific with the North Slope crushing its nearest competitors, clocking in with 18" of uber-light density snow. Terrain on the south half of the range, from Trail Lake to Strawberry, missed the powder party memo and storm totals registered in the 6"-8" range. In either case the Uinta's are fat and white and there's still plenty of amazing riding to go around today.
Above is hourly data from Trial Lake (9,945') and Windy Peak (10,662'). To view more regional weather stations click here.
The south half of the compass took on a bit of heat yesterday and this morning, you'll find sunny slopes slightly crusted. However, simply follow Weston's lead like in the viddy above and switch to terrain facing the north half of the compass and you'll be rewarded with deep, cold, light snow for the slashing :)
Recent Avalanches
Yesterday, reports streamed in of very sensitive, yet shallow new wind drifts along the leeward side of mid and upper elevation ridges.
Recent trip reports and avy activity found HERE.
Avalanche Problem #1
Wet Snow
The sun is high in the sky and yesterday's light fluff will take on heat fast today. In the top image above you can clearly see how a small avalanche on a south facing slope, starting out as a point release and has no problem entraining snow as it descends the slope. The lower image illustrates the type of terrain you wanna avoid today.... deep gullies and road cuts where cement-like debris has no place to fan out, piling up a surprisingly deep pile of wet, manky, cement-like debris. If you're feeling like an ant under a magnifying glass so is the snow. As the day heats up, simply get off of and out from under steep, sun baked slopes.
And don't forget-
Cornices are ginormous and may break back further than you might expect. You definitely wanna give these large, unpredictable pieces of snow a wide berth and not ruin someones day below by inadvertently knocking a boxcar size piece of snow down on them
Avalanche Problem #2
Wind Drifted Snow
A few lingering wind drift formed earlier in the week lurk under Wednesday nights storm and may react to our additional weight. Limited to steep, leeward terrain in the wind zone, look for and avoid fat, rounded pieces of snow that once triggered, may take you for an unexpected ride in steep, technical terrain.
Additional Information
High pressure settles over the area through the weekend, producing sunny skies, temperatures warming into the mid 30's, and light northerly winds.
General Announcements
The information in this advisory expires 24 hours after the date and time posted, but will be updated by 7:00 AM Saturday March 16th, 2019.
If you're getting out and about, please let me know what you're seeing especially if you see or trigger and avalanche. I can be reached at or 801-231-2170
It's also a good time to set up one of our very popular avalanche awareness classes. Reach out to me and I'll make it happen.
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.

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