Utah Forecaster Killed In Avalanche

A weather forecaster was killed by an avalanche in Utah this week.

According to the Herald Extra, the body of 34-year-old Craig Patterson was found early on Friday morning by rescue workers. The forecaster was reported missing by a Utah Department of Transportation co-worker on Thursday night.

Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal said that Patterson was killed during an avalanche in Big Cottonwood Canyon. Patterson had been checking the stability in the area when he was buried by an avalanche.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Paterson had contacted a co-worker at about 1:30 pm on Thursday but was not heard from again. When the forecaster did not return to his post, the co-worker alerted police. Search crews aided by helicopters began their search and quickly found Patterson’s car. The 34-year-old’s body was found soon after on the east face of the Cardiff Fork area.

Patterson’s body was recovered this morning at about 1 am.

UDOT spokesman Nile Easton said in a statement:

“The UDOT family lost one of our own Thursday when veteran avalanche forecaster Craig Patterson died in a snow slide. Craig had worked with the department since 2006 and was a veteran back country skier. He was out doing the job that he loved to do, making the canyon safer for everyone to enjoy. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his loved ones as we continue to gather information about this terrible tragedy.”

Easton said that UDOT was investigating the incident. An autopsy is planned later this week.