WEATHER

Avalanche mitigation efforts underway ahead of storm

Mar 9, 2023, 10:30 AM

snow piled on tree is pictured, avalanche danger will be high in Utah...

Snow piles up on the branches of a pine tree near the Spruces Campground in Big Cottonwood Canyon on Monday, Feb. 27, 2023. (Scott G Winterton/Deseret News)

(Scott G Winterton/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Crews are doing more avalanche mitigation in both Cottonwood Canyons Thursday morning ahead of another big storm. 

Utah Avalanche Center Forecaster Nikki Champion said they are getting ready for a warm, wet system that’ll get here by this weekend, which could produce heavy, wet snow or even rain at high elevations.

She said that between now and Saturday, the mountains could get one to two feet of snow.

“[It’s] a storm primarily fed by warmer inland temperatures and that’s going to lead to denser snow and higher snow levels.”

Champion said that along with avalanche danger and heavy snow, forecasters expect this storm to produce heavy winds as well.

“Overnight wind speeds could be up to 95 mph at the upper elevations, so that is another stressor.”

Champion advised recreators to be careful, especially in the backcountry, while avalanche danger goes up this week.

“We’re just gonna want to pay attention and hopefully, things will mellow out and we’ll see the avalanche danger drop off by next week.”

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Avalanche mitigation efforts underway ahead of storm