Forecast for the Ogden Area Mountains

Nikki Champion
Issued by Nikki Champion for
Wednesday, January 18, 2023
The avalanche danger is MODERATE at all upper and mid-elevation slopes where freshly formed wind drifts, and both soft slab and dry loose avalanches within the new snow are the main avalanche problems. The avalanche danger is LOW at the lower elevations where there has been less new snow. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully today.

If the sun comes out this afternoon it wouldn't take much for the cold new snow to warm quickly, become wet, and begin producing wet loose avalanches on low-elevation slopes and steep solars.
Learn how to read the forecast here
Weather and Snow
This morning, it is partly cloudy in the mountains. Overnight, the Ogden area mountains received trace amounts of snow. Trailhead temperatures are in the mid and upper teens F and the ridgeline temperatures are in the low-teens F. Winds are calmly blowing from the Northwest at speeds of 5-15 mph, with gusts up to 35 mph at the highest ridgelines.
Today will bring light snowfall ending early morning, and then slowly clear to partly cloudy by the afternoon. Temperatures will be upper teens to low 20s F. Winds will remain north-northwest averaging 5-15 mph gusting to 25 MPH at the mid elevation ridgelines, and averaging 15-25 mph gusting to 40 MPH at the highest ridgelines.
Snowfall and total snow depths for the last two weeks
  • Upper Cottonwoods- 100-115" snow (snow depth 125-160")
  • Park City Ridgeline 75-113" snow (snow depth 90-105")
  • Provo Area Mountains 90-92" snow ( snow depth 80-115")
  • Ogden Area Mountains- 75-78" snow (snow depth 90-110")
Thursday's storm looks like it will favor Central and Southern Utah, with Northern Utah only receiving a glancing blow.
Recent Avalanches
Yesterday backcountry travelers reported dry loose avalanches in steep terrain. Ski resorts also reported some small soft slabs of wind drifted snow.

Check out the observations from yesterday HERE.
Avalanche Problem #1
New Snow
It just keeps snowing. Expect to find sensitive soft slabs of new snow and fast, long-running sluffs on all aspects at mid and upper elevations.
Use caution and watch for easily triggered new snow avalanches while ascending and descending steep slopes. Travel one at a time through steep terrain over 30 degrees and think about not IF you'll see a new snow avalanche, but where it might take you if you are swept off your feet.

If the sun comes out this afternoon it wouldn't take much for the cold new snow to warm quickly, become wet, and begin producing wet loose avalanches on low elevation slopes and steep southwest to the south to southeast facing slopes today.
Signs that wet avalanches could start happening include; seeing snowballs or pinwheels roll downhill with increasing frequency, and seeing upper layers of snow become increasingly wet. Pay attention to changing conditions.
Avalanche Problem #2
Wind Drifted Snow
With even a small bump in winds, all of the low-density soft snow available for transport will continue to form sensitive slabs of wind-drifted snow on all mid and upper-elevation slopes. These soft slabs will be most pronounced on lee-ward facing slopes, but elevated winds can load any aspect because winds swirl and change direction as they pass through the mountains, this is known as cross-loading.
Look for cracking, collapsing, and rounded pillows of new snow, and avoid steep terrain where you could trigger them.
These wind-drifted snow avalanches may entrain all of the new snow and on steeper slopes will be more than enough to take a rider off their feet.

Cornices will be sensitive today and may break further back than you anticipate.
Additional Information
What happened to the persistent weak layer problem? Dave Kelly and I talk about the team's decision to drop the Persistent Weak Layer as a listed problem below.
Be in the Know - follow our partners @UDOTavy for backcountry and road closure information on Twitter and Instagram.
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.