Forecast for the Ogden Area Mountains

Issued by Trent Meisenheimer for Sunday, December 9, 2018 - 5:57am
The Ogden area mountains have a LOW avalanche danger. Cornices along the high ridge lines are very large, and could break beneath the weight of a person. While pockets of faceted snow exist near the ground on steep, upper elevations slopes, none have produced avalanches in the Ogden area mountains. If you travel in steep terrain, only expose one person at a time, especially on steep, shady slopes.
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Weather and Snow
We have a short wave ridge building into northern Utah this morning. This will lead to clear and sunny skis in the mountains today. Current mountain temperatures for the Ogden area are in the mid teens °F at 9,000' and in the mid twenties °F at 6,000' feet in elevation. Winds across the highest ridge lines are blowing from the westerly direction with speeds of 5-10 mph with the occasional gust into the 20's. The snow surface remains excellent with dense soft settled powder on the shady aspects. The southerly facing aspects will support a crust that will likely become soft by the afternoon.
We will see a quick hitting storm that will pass overhead Monday evening into Tuesday bringing a few inches of new snow with it. The best chance for a decent shot of snow happens mid-week as a stronger system crosses northern Utah Wednesday into Thursday. We can expect a decent re-fresh of snow within the 5-10" range. Hats off to professor Jim Steenburgh for teaching me about synoptic mountain meteorology this semester. If you like weather and snow snobbery follow his blog HERE.
Photo: 500 millibar geo-potential heights. This shows the storm we have coming in for Wednesday/Thursday this coming week.
Recent Avalanches
No avalanches were reported in the Ogden area mountains. Here is a list of all current observations: HERE
Avalanche Problem #1
Normal Caution
The Ogden mountains have some of the strongest and most stable snow across the state because they had almost no snow on the ground prior to Thanksgiving. However, there are a few upper elevation, shady slopes that have a little bit of this old snow. Fortunately this layer has not produced avalanches in the Ogden area. Just in case, take your shovel out and dig in a safe location before committing to riding a steep upper elevation shady line. If you find a very thin layer of old weak faceted snow at the ground, it's probably best to avoid that terrain. As always follow safe travel protocol and make sure to only expose one person at a time to avalanche terrain and watch them from a safe location.
Video: Doug Wewer and Brian Smith looking at the snowpack in the Ogden mountains.
General Announcements
This information does not apply to developed ski areas or highways where avalanche control is normally done. This forecast is from the U.S.D.A. Forest Service, which is solely responsible for its content. This forecast describes general avalanche conditions and local variations always occur.

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