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Forecasters warn of 'unusual' avalanche danger

By Haley Smith | Posted - Feb 17th, 2014 @ 7:06am

SALT LAKE CITY — Forecasters say an avalanche is likely in Utah’s backcountry Monday, and they warned those headed to the mountains to be careful.

Along with an extremely high avalanche danger, forecasters at the Utah Avalanche Center called current conditions “unusual.”

They said heavy snowfall paired with strong winds has created the danger across most of the northern and central mountains Monday. Most areas have the same forecast — avalanches are very deep, wide and heavy, making the conditions extremely dangerous for anyone who might get caught in one.

Forecasters said the type of avalanches they're seeing can be deadly even for those with the right gear.

President’s Day is the second busiest holiday in Utah’s mountains. Forecasters urged people to avoid any slope that is greater than 30 degrees, stay out of the backcountry and stay inside resort boundaries.

Avalanche danger is ranked high for the Salt Lake area mountains, and high to extreme in Logan.

Northwest and easterly slopes in Ogden are listed as high. And because of poor snowpack and a lot of water, the Unitas are seeing huge avalanches. The Utah Avalanche Center red-flagged that area.

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