Forecast for the Ogden Area Mountains

Trent Meisenheimer
Issued by Trent Meisenheimer for
Wednesday, February 14, 2024
Today, the avalanche danger is MODERATE for shallow soft or hard slabs of wind-drifted snow. These drifts may be 6-12 inches deep and up to 100 feet wide. Triggering an avalanche on a persistent weak layer is becoming more and more unlikely. Evaluate the snow and terrain carefully; identify and avoid areas of concern. Human-triggered avalanches are possible today.
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Weather and Snow
Overnight, the mountains picked up 1-3 inches of new snow (0.02-0.20" water). This morning, it's snowing in some areas, with mountain temperatures ranging from 20-25 °F. Winds are blowing from the west-northwest at 15-25 mph across the Ogden Skyline.
As this small storm exits and moves to the east, we should see snow showers throughout the morning hours before turning partly cloudy this afternoon with some sunshine. Temperatures will climb into the low to mid-30s °F. The wind is forecast to change to the southwest and increase in speed. Upper elevation ridgelines will see southerly wind blow 15-25 mph with gusts into the 30s and 40s ahead of another storm slated to arrive overnight into Thursday.
Thursday's storm will bring 7-14 inches of snow by the weekend. After that, a large closed low sets up off the California Coast and looks to park there for a few days. This closed low will usher in a moist southwest flow and, depending on where the waves of moisture hit, will determine how much snow we get.
Recent Avalanches
Yesterday. no new avalanche activity was reported in the Ogden area. However, this past weekend in terrain to the south, we had several close calls and very large avalanches. Read and click through the following: Lisa Falls / Pioneer Ridge / Main Gobblers / Cardiac Ridge / Pole Canyon. There have been 16 avalanches reported since the weekend, and you can find that list HERE.
Avalanche Problem #1
Wind Drifted Snow
Yesterday's prefrontal wind from the southwest blew for roughly 12 hrs at elevated speeds. Today we will see another increase in southerly wind. This wind, and plenty of soft snow available to transport, has dotted the landscape with small hard and soft slabs of wind-drifted snow. These wind slabs could be 6-12 inches deep and up to 100' wide.
Yesterday in my travels, I noted very weak surface snow from our few clear and cold nights. I suspect some wind-drifted snow will avalanche or be remotely triggered because it formed over surface hoar or small-grained faceted snow. Therefore, be on the lookout for wind-drifted snow and be sure to avoid those areas. The challenging part will be the 2-4 inches of new snow that now covers yesterday's wind slabs making them visually hard to see.
Avalanche Problem #2
Persistent Weak Layer
This avalanche problem is becoming dormant and is unlikely to be triggered in the Ogden area. The last reported observation from Ogden commenting on the buried PWL was D. Turner from the North Ogden Divide on February 8. The previous reported backcountry avalanche on this layer was January 20 in Black Canyon.
Steep, shallow, and rocky terrain features, or areas that have previously avalanched, are still suspect to have avalanches failing near the ground on a layer of buried faceted snow. Be sure to dig down into the snow to see if this layer is present before committing to a steeper objective.
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.