Forecast for the Uintas Area Mountains

Issued by Craig Gordon for Wednesday, April 13, 2022
While not widespread, today you'll encounter MODERATE avalanche danger on steep, upper elevation, leeward slopes in the wind zone. Human triggered avalanches are POSSIBLE, especially in terrain facing the north half of the compass, and particularly on slopes with an easterly component to their aspect. Mostly manageable in size, fresh wind drifts will react to our additional weight and may run a little further and faster, packing more punch than you might expect as they rest on top of a variety of slick, hard crusts.
Lose the wind and you lose the problem. LOW avalanche danger and legit late winter riding conditions are found on mid and low elevation wind sheltered slopes where human triggered avalanches are UNLIKELY.
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Special Announcements
Sunday, April 17th is the last of our regularly scheduled daily forecasts for the western Uinta mountains. But, don't let your heart be troubled... I'll continue to update this page with intermittent forecasts if Mother Nature decides to keep the winter switch turned on.
Weather and Snow
A late afternoon burst of North Slope focused snow stacked up an additional inch or three, bringing storm totals to just about a foot with an inch of H2O... which is just about average snow density in these parts. The south half of the range lags by a couple inches, but still registers in the 8"-10" range. The graphic above depicts the lay of the land with very cold temperatures diving into negative territory overnight along the ridges and single digits at the trailheads. West and northwest winds blew in the 30's for most of Tuesday, but just started tapering into the teens and low 20's early this morning. Yesterday's riding and turning conditions were slightly underwhelming as the old, hard snow surface is easy felt underfoot, especially on steep slopes. Low angle, wind sheltered terrain is the ticket, where you'll find soft, surfy, snow... along with a bit of alliteration!
Look for mostly cloudy skies with a scattered snow shower or two and high temperatures barely crawling out of the low 20's. After a brief respite, westerly winds ramp up as the day wares on and they'll be blowing in the 30's near the high peaks. Expect another cold night with lows dipping into the single digits.
Unsettled weather with another shot of snow expected tonight and Thursday. The work week wraps up with a drying trend.
Trip reports and snowpack observations are found HERE.

Looking for real-time temps, snow, or wind? Click HERE and then on the "western Uinta" tab for western Uinta specific, weather station network.
Recent Avalanches
No significant avalanche activity to report.
An archive of recent slides is found HERE.

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Avalanche Problem #1
Wind Drifted Snow
A 24 hour data dump from Windy Peak (10,662') show recent strong winds which have no problem whipping fresh storm snow into sensitive drifts in upper elevation terrain.
Yesterday's fresh wind drifts were touchy and reactive to the additional weight of a rider early in the day, but settled out rather quickly. And while I think that remains the case today for the vast majority of our terrain, it's a different story above treeline where winds have been busy at work for the past 48 hours. The good news is... with no myriad of weak layers to deal with or analyze, there's no mystery in the snowpack. In fact, today's avalanche dragon is pretty straight-forward and linear. Easy to detect and easy to avoid, look for and steer clear of both new and old wind drifts which appear fat and rounded or may sound hollow like a drum. Lose some elevation, you lose the wind, you lose the problem, and you're rewarded with a solid base underfoot, topped off with cold, creamy snow.
Additional Information
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General Announcements
The information in this forecast expires 24 hours after the day and time posted, but will be updated by 07:00 Thursday, April 14th.
Before it gets too crazy, now is the time to book an avalanche awareness presentation for your group, club, or posse. You can reach me 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.