Forecasters Warn Warmer Weekend Could Bring Avalanche Danger To Backcountry

Apr 2, 2021, 6:07 PM | Updated: 8:40 pm

LOGAN, Utah – Warmer weather could bring increased danger to Utah’s backcountry this weekend, and avalanche forecasters warned the snow already on the ground could come down in large slabs.

On Friday, forecasters warned backcountry skiers to get in and out early to avoid dangerous avalanche conditions over Easter weekend.

“My concern is that this weekend into next weekend, we are going into a prolonged period of strong sunshine,” said Mark Staples, Utah Avalanche Center director.

Avalanche forecaster Mark Staples said warmer temperatures could cause sheets of snow to come loose. (Utah Avalanche Center)

That sunshine could warm large, wet slabs of snow just enough to allow them to slide downslope.

“All through here, we still have dry snow. There’s a crust right here, but as we go into this period of warm weather, all of this is going to start to get wet,” Staples said.

If you do plan to head out, avalanche forecasters said you should plan to finish up well before noon.

Northern Utah avalanche forecaster Toby Weed. (Mike Anderson/KSL TV)

“Especially with the nights not freezing well, I’d just avoid being on steep slopes this weekend and wait for it to freeze up again,” said Toby Weed, an avalanche forecaster for the northern part of the state.

He took pictures Thursday near Wellsville that showed what’s left from a wet avalanche.

“Which are a very dangerous type of wet avalanche. They’re not the loose wet avalanches that you can trigger from a point-release, but something where the whole slope can collapse and fail as a slab,” Weed explained. “The heat kind of continues to weaken the snowpack, which in a lot of places right now is pretty dry.”

(Utah Avalanche Center) (Utah Avalanche Center)

It could all change if colder weather or even snow returns.

Forecasters said to go prepared and always check conditions before heading out.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Man accused of exposing himself at Utah store...
Shara Park

Man accused of exposing himself to underage girls at Utah store

The owner of Rad Swim in Highland is warning Utah families after she says a man exposed himself to her associate and several young girls in her store Monday evening.
1 day ago
High school teammates play in Super Bowl...
Ayanna Likens

2 former Stansbury High School teammates to faceoff in the Super Bowl

Two former Stansbury High School football teammates will face each other as rivals in the Super Bowl.
1 day ago
HOV lanes for pregnant women...
Katija Stjepovic

House passes bill allowing pregnant women to drive solo in HOV lanes

Pregnant women may soon be allowed to drive solo in HOV lanes after a bill allowing just that passed in the Utah House of Representatives Friday.
1 day ago
(Matt Rascon/KSL TV)...
Matt Rascon & Eliza Pace

KSL+: Healing in schools after Enoch tragic shooting

In the weeks following the tragic shooting in Enoch that killed five children, the school community continues to feel the impact.
1 day ago
FILE (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for UNITAS)...
Madison Swenson

Two Utah county men, business charged with $11M COVID tax fraud scheme

Two Utah County men, as well as an accounting business in Provo, have been charged with a COVID-related tax fraud scheme totaling more than $11 million.
1 day ago
Elk herd near Parleys Canyon...
Jed Boal

3 elk die after herd wanders onto roads near Parleys Canyon

A large herd of elk continues to keep motorists and state troopers on high alert near the mouth of Parleys Canyon.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Forecasters Warn Warmer Weekend Could Bring Avalanche Danger To Backcountry