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Dangerous avalanche conditions expected in northern and central Utah

Posted at 5:27 PM, Jan 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-09 08:06:17-05

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Avalanche Center anticipates the issuance of an avalanche warning later this week due to dangerous conditions in the mountains of central and northern Utah.

A statement from UAC listed two reasons to expect dangerous conditions this week:

  1. Having such little snow this season has created a very shallow and very weak snowpack which will not be able to support forecasted amounts of new snow and WILL produce avalanches.

  2. The human element will compound this problem. Many people are excited and have been eagerly awaiting fresh snow. Don’t let powder fever overtake good judgement (sic), especially with dangerous avalanche conditions.

On Monday, UAC stated they expect to release an Avalanche Watch Tuesday, followed by an Avalanche Warning on Wednesday.

A posting on UAC’s website explained the difference in the terms Avalanche Watch and Avalanche Warning:

“When we expect a big wind and snow storm to hit, say, tomorrow afternoon, we will issue an Avalanche Watch to alert the public that we expect dangerous conditions to occur starting tomorrow afternoon.  On the morning of the expected storm, if the weather forecast seems like it will actually verify, we will issue an Avalanche Warning because it appears to be imminent.  We will continue the Avalanche Warning as long as conditions remain dangerous,” this web page said.