Forecast for the Ogden Area Mountains

Issued by Greg Gagne for Wednesday, March 13, 2019 - 6:34am
The avalanche hazard is MODERATE at the upper elevations for new snow and wind drifted snow. This includes long-running sluffs, storm slabs, and fresh wind drifts. On northerly aspects at the mid elevations the hazard is MODERATE for sluffing in the new snow. The hazard is Low elsewhere.
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Special Announcements
Chapter 5 in the LOW Danger series has been published. It's the first of two first-hand accounts of the Blue Ice avalanche from January 5th. One can find all the chapters in the Blog page in the menu above.
Chapter 6 in the LOW Danger series is now published. It's the second of two first hand accounts of the Blue Ice avalanche from January 5th.
Thanks to these two. These stories need to be told.

Enjoy spring skiing at Snowbasin Resort. The UAC has discount Snowbasin tickets available. INFO
Weather and Snow
A cold front entered the Wasatch mountains overnight with snowfall beginning just after midnight. As of 6 am snow totals are 1-3”. Winds are out of the north and gusty. At the mid elevations winds are averaging less than 10 mph, with gusts in the teens. At upper elevations wind are averaging in the teens with gusts in the 20’s. Gusts are in the 30’s at upper elevations including Mt. Ogden. Mountain temperatures range through the teens F.
For today, expect periods of light to moderate snowfall, with storm totals of 3-6" by late afternoon. Temperatures will be in the teens at mid and upper elevations, and low to mid 20's F at lower elevations. Winds will be out of the northwest. At the mid elevations winds will average in the teens, with gusts in the 20’s mph. At upper elevations add about 10 mph to those numbers, averaging in the teens and low 20’s mph, with gusts in the 30’s mph.
Continued snowfall is expected overnight, with an additional 1-3" possible. Clearing during the day on Thursday, with cool temperatures in the teens and 20's mph.
For the extended forecast, Friday looks to remain cool, but a strong ridge of high pressure moves in and stays put for awhile. Temperatures along upper elevation ridgelines will be above freezing by Sunday.
Recent Avalanches
Reports from the Ogden mountains for Tuesday included minor sluffing of wet loose snow.
You can read recent field reports - including avalanche activity - for the Ogden mountains by visiting the observations page (link).
Avalanche Problem #1
New Snow
Although only small amounts of new snow are forecasted, sluffing in the new snow is possible, especially on steeper northerly aspects where drier old snow was preserved. If snowfall rates are higher than forecasted (they are currently forecasted to remain light) the new snowfall may be more sensitive during any period of heavier snowfall. Watch for signs of instability such as cracking and sluffing.
Avalanche Problem #2
Wind Drifted Snow
North/northwest winds will create pockets of fresh drifts at the upper elevations. Although these will primarily be found on southerly and easterly aspects, cross-loading will make it possible for drifting on any aspect. These drifts will generally be 6-12" thick.
Cornices - Avoid traveling across or underneath corniced ridgelines as fresh wind-loading may make cornices more reactive. The cornices are particularly large along the ridgelines in the Snowbasin backcountry.
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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