“It’s kind of crazy that we’d even be talking about avalanche danger in urban areas. But having all this snow stacked up on steep roofs is definitely something you want to avoid the next couple of days.” -Utah Avalanche Center Forecaster Craig Gordon
Craig Gordon, the best man bun in the Avalanche forecaster business, spoke with KSL about the danger of urban avalanches in SLC. The danger is real and he urges parents to keep children from playing in the snow near steep roofs:
“Right now, the avalanche danger isn’t just confined to the backcountry areas and just isn’t confined to the mountains. There’s lots of snow on roofs. It wouldn’t be that unusual to see all of that snow cascading off of steep roofs, so we’re advising people to stay away from that situation.”
It isn’t just the snow totals that concern Craig, its the recent fluctuations of temperatures:
“We’re on sort of this roller coaster of cold temps, warm temps. Really those rising snow lines and particularly rain on snow, that is going to elevate the avalanche danger.”
Thanks Craig! Veteran residents might already know the danger of roof avalanches (the often happen on the same roofs every year) but if you know a family that is new to the area it wouldn’t hurt to give them a friendly heads up. Stay safe out there in the snow and always take care of each other!