OUTDOORS + RECREATION

Avalanche risk is high in northern mountains of Utah

Dec 27, 2022, 9:30 PM

A snowy mountain with trees is pictured, avalanche risk is measured often this time of year...

Avalanche forecasters in Utah work with the National Weather Service to determine avalanche risk each day. The Utah Avalance Center says the mountains of northern Utah are currently high risk for an avalanche. Scott G Winterton/Deseret News)

LOGAN, Utah — Avalanche risk is high in the mountains of northern Utah, according to the Utah Avalanche Center.

Dave Kelly, a forecaster with the Utah Avalanche Center, told KSL NewsRadio of the risk people face. He says it’s a little unusual due to the terrain, mixed with the high elevation snow and the low elevation rain.

“And so, people that are fishing on the Logan River stand the chance of running into places where they could be underneath an avalanche path because of high rain line,” Kelly said. 
 
Kelly says the storms coming to Utah this week will make for ideal avalanche conditions in the backcountry. 
 
“We have a weak snowpack, so we have a persistent weak layer,” Kelly said. “Which is sugary, faceted snow that’s buried underneath last week’s storm. That has the potential to become overloaded by the series of storms that are starting right now.”
 
From Ogden to Provo, the risk of an avalanche is slightly smaller. However, the chances are still considerable. 
 
The Utah Avalanche Center advises anyone who travels into the backcountry to avoid any slopes that are 30 degrees or steeper altogether. 
 
For the latest on avalanche conditions around Utah, click here
 
Mark Jones contributed to this article.
 
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Avalanche risk is high in northern mountains of Utah