Forecast for the Ogden Area Mountains

Trent Meisenheimer
Issued by Trent Meisenheimer for
Sunday, January 22, 2023
The avalanche danger is MODERATE on all steep mid and upper-elevation slopes where it's possible to find old and new pockets of sensitive wind-drifted snow. As the winds increase throughout the day, be on the lookout and avoid any fresh drift of wind-blown snow. Here avalanches can be 1-2 feet deep and up to 50-100 feet wide.
Avoid traveling underneath or along the edge of corniced ridgelines, as large cornices may easily break off. Long-running dry loose avalanches (sluffs) are also possible in steep, sustained terrain.
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Special Announcements
Are you snowpack curious? wondering how the Persistent Weak Layer went from Zero to Hero. Well, then, you came to the right place! Please join Craig Gordon at 6:00 pm Monday, January 23rd, in Park City at the Kimball Junction Library for a State of the Snowpack presentation. It's going to be informative, educational, and quite possibly entertaining :)
Weather and Snow
Overnight under clear skies, the mountain temperatures plummeted and are frigid (at least for Utah standards), ranging from 3°F in the valley bottoms to 10°F at ridgetop, with windchill in the negatives. Winds have increased overnight and are currently blowing from the westerly direction at speeds of 10-20 mph across the upper elevations.
Today we will see increasing clouds, cold temperatures (15-19 °F), and snow as a closed low quickly tracks south through Utah. The cold front is expected to cross overhead between 8:00 am and 1:00 pm today. During this time, we will see an increase in northwest winds, with speeds of 15-25 mph and snowfall rates of 1" per hour possible. However, the storm is short-lived as it digs too deep and heads for the US/Mexico border, where it spins off to the east toward Texas. We can expect 2-6" of new snow throughout the day.
Once this storm tracks south of Utah this afternoon, the winds will veer from northwest to north to northeast and east, increasing in speed with averages in the 15-25 mph range and gusts into the 40s. I don't usually complain about storms, but I'd complain about this one. No good ever comes from east winds.
Recent Avalanches
No new avalanches were reported in the Ogden backcountry. There were a number of observations from yesterday that can be found HERE.
Avalanche Problem #1
Wind Drifted Snow
Today, it will be possible to trigger old and new shallow soft slabs of wind-drifted snow. When it comes to avalanches, the terrain dictates how dangerous they are. Cliffs, rocks, terrain traps, and trees all make a ride in a small avalanche much more dangerous. As the winds increase this morning, be on the lookout and avoid fresh drifts of wind-blown snow. These old and new wind slabs will likely be 1-2 feet deep and 50-100 feet wide.
This afternoon we expect the winds to veer from the northwest to the north, northeast, and east. Northeast and east wind is not a normal wind direction for us, so I would expect to find wind drifts in unusual places. It's hard to say what the wind will do here, but I would be on guard for today's changing conditions and remember that shooting cracks is one of the five red flags of unstable snow.
Photo: Gagne. Showing some wind drifted snow on Rodeo Ridge.
Avalanche Problem #2
New Snow
During peak snowfall, watch for new snow sluffs and shallow soft slabs within the storm snow. This will only be an issue if the forecast verifies with rates of one inch of snowfall per hour.
Additional Information
  • What happened to the persistent weak layer problem? Nikki Champion and Dave Kelly discuss the team's decision to drop the Persistent Weak Layer as a listed problem.
  • 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.