We’ve never seen this before. NOAA has issued an Avalanche Watch for Utah. There are persistent weak layers in the Utah snowpack. This, plus the additional snow about to fall in Utah is going to create a high possibility of human triggered and natural avalanches in Utah.
NOAA’s AVALANCHE WATCH:
URGENT - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED BACKCOUNTRY AVALANCHE WATCH FOREST SERVICE UTAH AVALANCHE CENTER RELAYED BY NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SALT LAKE CITY UT 917 AM MST SAT DEC 7 2013 THE FOLLOWING MESSAGE IS TRANSMITTED AT THE REQUEST OF THE FOREST SERVICE UTAH AVALANCHE CENTER. THIS AVALANCHE WATCH IS FOR THE MOUNTAINS OF NORTHERN UTAH AND THE WESTERN UINTAS. STRONG WINDS TODAY AND HEAVY SNOWFALL TONIGHT ARE EXPECTED TO OVERLOAD PREEXISTING WEAK SNOW ON NORTHERLY FACING SLOPES. BY SUNDAY...BOTH NATURAL AND HUMAN TRIGGERED SLIDES SHOULD BECOME LIKELY AND AVALANCHE CONDITIONS VERY DANGEROUS. THIS WATCH DOES NOT INCLUDE SKI AREAS OR HIGHWAYS WHERE AVALANCHE CONTROL IS NORMALLY DONE. FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT WWW.AVALANCHE.ORG OR CALL 1-888-999-4019.
UTAH AVALANCHE CENTER:
The avalanche danger is CONSIDERABLE on all wind drifted slopes, with deeper, more dangerous slides possible on northwest, north and northeasterly facing slopes at the mid and upper elevations. Slides can be triggered from below and from a distance. CONSIDERABLE means:
- Dangerous avalanche conditions exist
- Natural avalanches are possible
- Human triggered avalanches are likely
- Cautious route finding and conservative decision-making is essential.
Head to wind sheltered and lower angle slopes today, and consider options on the southerly ½ of the compass. – Utah Avalanche Center