National Weather Service issues backcountry avalanche watch for Utah
Published: February 18, 2012 03:34PM
Updated: February 18, 2012 11:50PM

Anticipating heavy mountain snowfall late Saturday and early Sunday, the National Weather Service issued a backcountry avalanche watch for Utah’s northern, central and northeastern mountains.

Forecasters said the danger of potentially life-threatening snow slides would remain elevated into Monday.

The Utah Avalanche Center, meantime, graded the western Uintas and Manti-Skyline mountains at “orange,” or considerable risk for avalanches, while the Logan, Ogden, Salt Lake City, Provo and Moab areas earned “yellow” ratings for moderate risks.

A winter storm watch was in place Saturday night and extending through Sunday for a section of the state generally west of the Wasatch Range and ranging from the Idaho-Utah state line south through Tooele and Delta, where it included high deserts running to the Nevada-Utah border. Snowfall totals from 2 to 6 inches were expected.

Forecasters also issued a winter weather advisory for northeastern Utah, from just north of Vernal running south to just northeast of Green River. From 3 to 8 inches of new snow was expected.

While the rest of the state braced for wintry blasts, southern Utah looked for high temperatures around 50 degrees on Sunday. Partly cloudy skies were expected, with the chance of Sunday rain.

The Presidents Day holiday forecast for St. George called for mostly sunny skies with a high near 49.

For northern Utah, the Presidents Day forecast called for partly sunny to mostly cloudy skies with highs in the mid to upper 30s.

remims@sltrib.com