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Heightened avalanche danger in low elevations

Posted at 10:21 PM, Feb 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-04 00:21:54-05

SALT LAKE CITY — Monday’s storm is creating a heightened avalanche danger for some lower elevations of the Salt Lake valley.

The Utah Avalanche Center lists the danger level as "considerable."

“The valleys and benches have seen upward of 12 to 18 to 24 inches of snow,” said Drew Hardesty of the Utah Avalanche Center. “It’s all physics. All you need in an avalanche is a steep enough slope. In this case, 30 to 45 degrees."

An alert was issued because these areas don’t typically see an elevated danger.

“When people head up into the upper elevations, they are thinking avalanches. Down here, people aren’t — the dog walkers the snowshoeres,” Hardesty said. “It's uncommon to see this much snow, this fast, especially with strong winds.”

Problem spots for those exploring the outdoors include areas near Grandeur Peak, the Bonneville Shoreline Trail, above University Hospital and above the Utah State Capitol building.

The threat is expected to last through the week.