RECREATION

Experts say Wednesday’s storm is a ‘recipe’ for more avalanche risk

Jan 4, 2022, 5:00 AM
Pfeifferhorn Avalanche...
Utah avalanche forecasters are watching Wednesday's storm saying it could be a recipe for more avalanche risk. FILE: Photo credit: Canva

WASATCH FRONT, Utah — Utah avalanche forecasters are watching Wednesday’s storm because they say it will come in “upside down,” — where the storm starts cold and turns warm, putting warm dense snow on top of lighter snow.

That’s a formula ripe for avalanches, Utah Avalanche Center said late Monday.

Typical storms, the Center said, start warm then get colder leaving lighter snow to fall on top of the heavier, warmer snow.

“What we’re looking at with this storm is going to be upside down,” Director of the Utah Avalanche Center Mark Staples told KSL Newsradio about Wednesday’s storm. “So, it’s going to start out a little colder and as the storm progresses it’s going to warm up — so it’s going to put some warmer, dense snow on top of lighter snow. That alone is a recipe for avalanches.”

Staples says there have been 54 avalanches reported since just before Christmas, a number he thinks is actually low.

“I’d feel comfortable saying there have been at least twice that number.” Staples said. 

Staples says another concern he says is just how deep and wide the slides have been.

“Some of that snow we had in December was pretty warm and wet and cohesive.” Staples said. “It’s breaking very deeply and breaking very wide.”

A large avalanche broke Sunday afternoon in a popular backcountry area up Millcreek Canyon. No one was injured despite fears there were people nearby when ski tracks were found in the area.  

Staples called that slide a “freebie.” 

“Mother Nature is showing us what’s going on, so we shouldn’t ignore it.”

Read more:

Today’s Top Stories

Recreation

Two people have been gored by bison at Yellowstone National Park in less than a week. An expert at ...
Mark Jones

Expert says to give bison their space and distance

An expert at Antelope Island State Park says bison need to be given their space and distance. This message comes after two people were gored by bison at Yellowstone National Park
2 days ago
A female bison and calf are seen near the Yellowstone River in Wyoming's Hayden Valley, on Wednesda...
Mark Jones

2nd visitor in 3 days gored by Yellowstone National Park bison

In less than a week, two visitors to Yellowstone National Park have been gored by bison. Park officials say to stay at least 25 yards away from a bison.
2 days ago
Travelers wait in for a TSA security check at the Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles,...
DAVID KOENIG ASSOCIATED PRESS

Pre-pandemic sized crowds descend on US airports for holiday

TSA is reporting crowds of pre-pandemic size are traveling this Independence Day.
2 days ago
Vehicles enter Zion National Park   on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. With Independence Day set for Mond...
Mark Jones

Busy weekend expected at Zion National Park

With it being Independence Day on Monday, Zion National Park officials are expecting a busy weekend at the park and say visitors should expect long lines.
3 days ago
Rockfall along Zion-Mt Carmel Highway...
Waverly Golden

A rockfall briefly closes highway through Zion National Park

This morning a rockfall happened on the Zion-Mt Carmel Highway, it has since been cleared by maintenance crews. No injuries or damages were reported.
4 days ago
Remaining permits for elk and deer hunts this fall will be available to purchase in July....
Mark Jones

Remaining deer, elk permits can be purchased in July

Remaining deer and elk permits for hunts this fall will be available to purchase in July.
5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Experts say Wednesday’s storm is a ‘recipe’ for more avalanche risk