WEATHER

Utah’s avalanche danger is going down, but it’s not all clear yet

Jan 19, 2024, 3:00 PM

Utah's avalanche danger has been dangerous for the last week, with the Utah Avalanche Center report...

(Photo courtesy of Utah Avalanche Center)

(Photo courtesy of Utah Avalanche Center)

SALT LAKE CITY — It’s been one of the busiest winter weeks and weekends, and while the Utah avalanche danger is decreasing, it’s not entirely gone

 

“Even though it’s stopped snowing heavily, the existing snowpack is pretty weak,” said Greg Gagne, forecaster for the Utah Avalanche Center. “It’s a pretty dangerous snowpack structure.” 

How to know Utah avalanche danger

The smartest thing to do is to check the avalanche forecast before venturing into the mountains. Additionally, forecasters have a rule of thumb to help determine if a slope has avalanche potential.

“Imagine making the steepness of a stairway a little gentler, that’s the steepness of a slope in avalanche terrain,” said Gagne.

Related: Avalanche expert recommends how to measure slope angle

The snowpack will take time to stabilize. It could be a matter of days or up to a few weeks.

“Be patient,” he said. “We have this avalanche danger and even though it’s slowly decreasing, we emphasize that ‘slowly’ part.”

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Utah’s avalanche danger is going down, but it’s not all clear yet