Forecast for the Ogden Area Mountains

Drew Hardesty
Issued by Drew Hardesty for
Tuesday, January 30, 2024
A MODERATE DANGER exists on steep west to north to southeast facing slopes for triggering a 2-5' thick hard slab avalanche that fails on a persistent weak layer.
With clear skies and skyrocketing temps, the danger for wet avalanches will rise to CONSIDERABLE on all steep sunny (as well as low elevation shady) slopes. Don't overstay your welcome in the oven.
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Weather and Snow
Skies are clear.
Mountain temperatures remain inverted, with ridgetop temps in the mid-30s while basins and trailheads are in the mid-20s. Winds are from the south and are hardly a whisper.
For today, we'll have mostly clear skies, light winds from the south and temps rising again to near 40°F up high and near 50°F down low. That's not a misprnt.
Riding conditions remain excellent in the sun and wind sheltered terrain. Solar aspects and low elevation northerlies have a crust that will soften with daytime warming. Developing surface hoar may be noted in sheltered terrain.
The Outlook: Rosy. From my vantage, the pattern looks fairly active again, with a storm Thursday afternoon through Saturday and another one lined up for early next week; each possibly with a tropical moisture tap. The southern mountains should receive preferential treatment, but we won't get left standing at the altar.
Recent Avalanches
Wet sluff and a few wet slab avalanches have been noted in steep sun-drenched terrain. We'll see more today.
Avalanche Problem #1
Wet Snow
With clear skies and warm overnight temperatures, wet avalanches will run early today, starting on east then south then west and eventually some northwest facing slopes. In steep, sustained and confined terrain, some of these wet avalanches will run fast and far and easily lead to significant debris piles. We had lots of reports of long running destructive avalanches across the range (as noted by DeBruin) but also significant wet avalanches in Logan (Green Canyon) on a south facing aspect up high. (Benson photo) In some areas, much more destructive wet slab avalanches may occur, from either being pried out by wet loose sluffs from above, or - in some cases - melt water percolating down to structural interfaces (density changes and/or facets and crusts).
Travel advice: If you see pinwheels and rollerballs and are finding the snow start to become unsupportable, move on to low angle terrain or cooler aspects.
Avalanche Problem #2
Persistent Weak Layer
Triggering an avalanche into our buried PWL from December and buried January 4th is becoming increasingly difficult. We have heard of no cracking or collapsing recently and the last reported avalanche into this layering was on the 20th in Black Canyon. That said, the prudent travel in this low probability high consequence regime is to stack your cards and remain on low angle terrain. Remember that cornices become more tender during heat waves.
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.