Forecast for the Ogden Area Mountains

Issued by Mark Staples for Thursday, December 6, 2018 - 6:40am
With fresh slabs of wind drifted snow present from yesterday's winds, the avalanche danger is MODERATE on most upper elevation slopes. All other areas have a LOW danger, but a low danger does not mean no danger.
Low
Moderate
Considerable
High
Extreme
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Weather and Snow
Yesterday the main weather factor was increased southerly winds averaging 10-20 mph gusting 20-30. The video below shows these winds drifting some snow in the Monte Cristo area. Winds eased overnight, and are only blowing 12-15 mph from the WSW on Ogden Peak. Temperatures are surprisingly even across all elevations with most weather station reporting temps in the low 20’s F.
Today under partly cloudy skies, temperatures will warm into the mid 20's F and winds will remain light.
Snow depths in the area generally range from 30-40 inches between 8000 and 9000 feet. Sunshine over the last two days warmed slopes facing due south which may have a crust on them this morning.
Recent Avalanches
Yesterday on Ben Lomond Peak, skiers were able to easily trigger shallow slabs of wind drifted snow. See the great video below to see what these wind slabs looked like.
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Avalanche Problem #1
Wind Drifted Snow
Type
Location
Likelihood
Size
Description
Look for fresh wind drifts from yesterday's winds. These drifts can be just under ridgetops or parallel to cross-loaded ridgelines. Fortunately this type of avalanche problem can stabilize quickly and is easy to see and avoid.
Avalanche Problem #2
Normal Caution
Type
Location
Likelihood
Size
Description
The Ogden mountains may have some of the strongest, most stable snow across the state. The reason is that these mountains had almost no snow on the ground prior to Thanksgiving. There are a few upper elevation, shady slopes that had a little bit of this old snow. It is a very thin layer, but could produce an avalanche. Snowmobilers found this layer yesterday (video below) Whiskey Hill in the Monte Cristo area. Kory Davis was looking for and evaluating this layer yesterday and wrote good comments about it HERE.
Fortunately this layer has not produced avalanches in the Ogden area. Just in case, make sure to only expose one person at a time to avalanche terrain and to watch them from a safe location. Being prepared even when there seems to be little threat of avalanches can make the difference between life and death.
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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