Forecast for the Ogden Area Mountains

Dave Kelly
Issued by Dave Kelly for
Tuesday, January 2, 2024
Today there is a LOW avalanche danger where natural and human triggered avalanches are unlikely except in isolated areas or extreme terrain.
The big news is that we are looking at a weather pattern change and a chance of snow later this week, which could mean changing avalanche conditions.
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Weather and Snow
Under clear skies temperatures are in the 20's °F. Winds are blowing lightly at all mountain locations this morning. There was no new snow reported overnight and snow heights range from 1-3' with isolated areas holding close to 4' of snow.
For today, winds will blow lightly from the south-southeast 5 gusting to 10 MPH. Skies will be mostly sunny, with temperatures 32-35 °F. No new snow is expected today.
Our partners at the National Weather Service all agree we should see a pattern change starting late Wednesday into Thursday evening with a chance of 1-3" of snow followed by a stronger storm for early next week. Read the forecaster discussion from the National Weather Service HERE.
Recent Avalanches
Reports from backcountry travelers all mentioned a weakening snow surface of mixed crusts and faceted snow. D. DeBruin had a great observation of the snow surface in the backcountry terrain near Snowbasin. Read all the Observations HERE.
Avalanche Problem #1
Normal Caution
The snow surface continues to weaken and, in some shady mid and high elevation locations, where the snow is less than 2' deep the facets are weak from the surface to the ground. Right now, your biggest concern in these low snowpack zones is sinking to the ground and hitting the summer surface (rocks, stumps). This weak snow is something we are paying attention too at all elevations for a couple of reasons:
  • Ridgelines where even the lightest wind transport could lead to a slab forming over this weak snow and create avalanches in isolated areas,
  • Steep shady aspects where the weak surface snow is creating dry loose avalanches that in some cases are enough to push a rider around
  • We are watching to see if our current snow surface will become our next weak layer once we get more snow later this week.
All of the avalanches I have seen over the last week are consistent with LOW danger. They have been small avalanches in isolated or extreme terrain. But any one of these slides above a cliff band or in a steep rocky gully would be enough to injure a rider. Continue to practice good backcountry travel techniques; make sure everyone in your group has a working transceiver, shovel, probe and only expose one person at a time while traveling in avalanche terrain.
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.