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Utah News

First Avalanche Warning This Season In Effect

The Utah Avalanche Center is advising people to avoid the backcountry.

An avalanche watch has been lifted for the Logan and Bear River Range in northern Utah. But the watch is still in effect for the Ogden, Salt Lake, Provo and the Manti Plateau areas.

Toby Weed, the Logan area avalanche forecaster for the Forest Service said the Logan area picked up a lot less snow than the rest of the state.  

“We actually didn’t pick up as much snow as most of the rest of the state, up in the far northern part of Utah here,” Weed said. “Looks like maybe more snow down here in town and the front canyons with three or four inches. Up in the mountains, I’m only reading about two inches of new snow.”According to Weed, the snow fall from earlier this month has weakened. The new snow adds weight that may cause avalanches.

“It’s just a matter of when and how much of a load areas get for that to happen,” Weed said.

The advisory doesn’t apply to ski areas where avalanche control is normally conducted. The Utah Avalanche Center is still advising people to avoid the backcountry.

“People definitely need to be aware this time of year. The avalanche danger is going to be what we call persistent. It’s going to be a long-lasting problem even after snow storms,” Weed said. “Now that we’re getting this slab development in the weak layers we’re going to have to be really careful even as things start to stabilize.”

Snowmobilers have the highest rate of avalanche fatalities in Utah. More information on avalanche advisories can be found at The Utah Avalanche Center