The groundhog may have been at it again, as temperatures are warming up, and the early signs of spring are appearing. However, with those signs come dangerous conditions that concern Top of Utah search and rescue teams.
According to the National Weather Service, temperatures this week will range in the low 50s to high 40s in the region, creating considerable avalanche danger the mountains, and thinning ice on lakes and ponds.
The Utah Avalanche Center warned Monday that dangerous conditions exist on many elevations and slopes that could lead to natural and human triggered slides.
Officials warn anyone in the backcountry areas should avoid slopes steeper than 30 degrees.
Sgt. Brandon Toll of Weber County's Search and Rescue Team said they are keeping a close watch over problem areas in the Weber area with steep slopes such as Hell's Canyon near Snowbasin and Whisky Hill in the Monte Cristo Range.
Just about any backcountry area in these conditions are at risk of getting hit with an avalanche, Toll said.
During the holiday weekend, search and rescue teams were doing preventative patrols by snowmobile to watch for avalanches and spreading awareness to skiers and snowmobilers about the danger.
Avalanches killed two people last weekend in separate slides in American Fork Canyon south of Salt Lake City and Sanpete County.
Another danger Toll advises people to beware of is the thining ice in lakes and ponds.
Tooele County Chief Sheriff's Deputy Duke North says two 13-year-old boys were playing near the edge of Grantsville Reservoir Sunday when the chunk of ice under their feet broke away. It drifted about 200 feet into the frigid water.
The boys were stranded around 1 p.m. after the wind shifted.
North said fire department workers towed the boys back to land with floating boards, rope and life jackets.
Neither boy was injured in the rescue, which took about 45 minutes.
Toll said his team has been training for ice dives in the event of somebody falling through ice.
People that walk onto lakes like Pineview Reservoir should be aware of how think the ice is, he said. Anything thinner than 8 inches should be avoided.
The ice tends to be thinner near the shore than in the middle, he said.
Although it's still a bit early in the year, Toll's team also prepares for flooding and quick run-off near the canyon rivers.
Toll said unexpected, swift water can sweep people away who are near the river. He advises people to keep a distance from river banks during a time when water levels can suddenly and quickly rise.
The Search and Rescue Team is always on 24/7 standby to respond to these types of accidents.
The Associated Press contributed to this story
Contact reporter Andreas Rivera at 801-625-4227 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @SE_Andreas.