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Utah forecast: Mountain snow elevates risk for avalanches

Published November 18, 2013 8:55 am

Treacherous slopes • Three avalanches reported on Sunday in Salt Lake area mountains.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A series of weekend, high-elevation snowstorms has boosted the risk for avalanches to "considerable" for the mountains above Salt Lake City and Logan.

On Sunday, the Utah Avalanche Center reported three, non-injury snow slides accidentally triggered by skiers. One, in the Cardiac Bowl area near Mount Superior, was 70 feet wide and 400 feet long. Two others occurred near Alta, with one of them carrying a skier about 150 feet within a 2-foot-deep white wave.

That skier escaped unhurt, but avalanche watchers warned Monday that eastern slopes of mountains above 9,300 feet elevation were at increased risk for slides heading into this week.

"Today has all the ingredients for an avalanche accident ... a good storm, unstable snow pack, powder-hungry people. Remember that consequences will be more severe with a shallow snow pack as a victim gets dragged through thinly buried rocks and stumps," the center stated.

The National Weather Service placed the western two-thirds of Utah under a Hazardous Weather Outlook beginning Monday and running through the coming weekend.

Along with accumulating snow in the state's northern and central mountains, forecasters warned of patchy morning fog in some Wasatch Mountains valleys. By Thursday, the snow could also begin to build on the slopes of Utah's southern mountains.

The Salt Lake and Tooele valleys looked for high temperatures in the low- to mid-50s on Tuesday after a sunny, albeit breezy Monday with daytime highs near 60 degrees. Overnight lows were to be near freezing.

Southern Utahns, meanwhile, expected highs Tuesday in the low- to mid-60s with partly cloudy skies after Monday's forecast for highs near 70 degrees under sunny skies. Overnight lows were to be in the upper-30s to low-40s.

For more weather details, visit this link for the Tribune's weather page.

remims@sltrib.com

Twitter: @remims