Forecast for the Ogden Area Mountains

Issued by Mark Staples for Tuesday, February 5, 2019 - 7:28am
With so much new snow and wind, today has dangerous avalanche conditions. The avalanche danger is HIGH at upper elevations mainly due to strong winds. With snow falling today and continued strong winds, some avalanches may happen naturally. Avoid being on or underneath avalanche terrain which is any slope steeper than 30 degrees. The avalanche danger is CONSIDERABLE at mid elevations which are experiencing strong winds as well. Avalanches are still possible at low elevations where the danger is MODERATE.
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Avalanche Warning
THE UAC HAS ISSUED AN AVALANCHE WARNING THIS MORNING THROUGH 6 AM MST WEDNESDAY
FOR THE WASATCH, WESTERN UINTA, AND BEAR RIVER MOUNTAINS.
THE AVALANCHE DANGER IS HIGH TODAY.
HEAVY SNOW AND STRONG WIND IS CREATING WIDESPREAD AREAS OF UNSTABLE SNOW AT UPPER ELEVATIONS. HUMAN TRIGGERED AND NATURAL AVALANCHES ARE LIKELY. STAY OFF OF AND OUT FROM UNDER SLOPES STEEPER THAN 30 DEGREES. TRAVELING IN AVALANCHE TERRAIN IS NOT RECOMMENDED.
Special Announcements
Check out the latest podcast - The Risks and Rewards of Ski Patrol - A Conversation with Jake Hutchinson.
Weather and Snow
There's simply too much water weight, too much wind and too much uncertainty.
Since yesterday morning, the Ogden area mountains have received about 6-7 inches of snow (0.3-0.4 inches of water) near Snowbasin and Ben Lomond and 10-12 inches of snow (1-1.4 inches of water) further east near Powder Mtn and Monte Cristo. A lot of the new snow has been graupel snow which are little pellets of dense snow.
Total snowfall since Saturday evening contains about 2 inches of water.
Temperatures this morning are in the low 30's F at trailheads and in the low 20's F near ridgetops. Winds from the S and SW are blowing steady 10-30 mph and gusting 40-50 mph. These winds are reaching down into the trees and places typically more sheltered from wind.
Today snow and strong winds will continue with 6-8 inches of snow possible. Temperatures may warm up by about 5 degrees or so. Tonight winds will shift to the NW and bring more snow and much colder temperatures.
Recent Avalanches
Ski patrols triggered many slab avalanches involving the new snow and wind drifted snow. Some near 9500 feet were quite large and cornices were reported to be sensitive as well.
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Avalanche Problem #1
Wind Drifted Snow
Type
Location
Likelihood
Size
Description
Southerly winds were transporting a lot of snow yesterday and continued through the night. Fresh slabs of wind drifted snow should be easy to trigger today as more snow falls and winds continue blowing from the south and southwest. What surprised me the most yesterday was how winds were reaching into many areas typically sheltered from the wind. There are few slopes untouched by winds. Today I would be looking for fresh wind drifts on most aspects and elevations and avoiding them.
Avalanche Problem #2
New Snow
Type
Location
Likelihood
Size
Description
If you avoid wind drifted snow, then the avalanche problem to watch for is simply the new snow. Although Saturday's snow surface had weakened and faceted, in most places this weekend, this weak layer was destroyed by rain. There should be a crust on which the new snow is resting. The new snow could fracture as a slab 1-2 feet deep on this crust or on storm layers and density changes in the new snow.
The good new is that you can observe how the new snow is reacting on small test slopes. With snow continuing to fall today, I would expect the new snow to at least produce loose sluffs, but watch for any cracking or other signs that the new snow will fracture as a slab.
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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