Forecast for the Ogden Area Mountains

Issued by Evelyn Lees for Friday, March 15, 2019 - 6:42am
The avalanche danger is mostly LOW early this morning, but will rapidly increase to MODERATE for Wet Snow avalanches on and below steep, sunny slopes and on all low elevation slopes. When the snow becomes damp, get off of and out from under the steep slopes, as wet sluffs will be easy to trigger and natural avalanches can occur. Have an exit plan that avoids steep, low elevation terrain.
On upper elevation, shady slopes isolated New Snow storm slabs, wind slabs and sluffs can be triggered in steep terrain.
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Weather and Snow
This morning is the last chance for a few more hours of powder before the sun does it’s damage today. Wednesday’s storm left 9-15” of northwest flow favored upper elevations northerly facing slopes.
Under clear skies, temperatures this morning are in the teens and low twenties, in the Ogden area mountains. A slight inversion is putting the cooler temps in the canyon bottoms. Winds are forecasted to remain from the northwest and only a bit stronger than yesterday along the upper elevation ridge lines, averaging 5 to 15 mph, gusts up to 20 mph.
Sadly, serious high pressure is moving in, with clear skies and warming temperatures today through the weekend. Temperatures will reach the low 30s at 8,000’ and mid 20s at 9,000’ today, with winds remaining very light at the mid and low elevations. Even the upper elevation ridge lines will only have averages in the 10 to 15 mph range.
Recent Avalanches
There was at least one skier triggered new snow slab yesterday. The crown ranged from 4-12 inches and was about 30 feet wide, consisting of the storm snow only and running on the sun crust beneath the new snow. The resorts triggered slightly larger slides with explosives, only at upper elevations.
Ben Lomond, photo by Bill Brandt
Avalanche Problem #1
Wet Snow
The low-density snow from Wednesday’s storm will rapidly heat today under the strong March sun. The snow will dampen quickly, producing both natural wet avalanches and easily human triggered wet sluffs. With a good crust to run on, slides may fan out and run further than expected. The snow on low and mid elevation north aspects will also heat, and has the potential to sluff today.
Keep eyes peeled for roller balls and cakey snow, clues of heating. Get on and off solar aspects early. Think about exits today, avoiding steep gullies and drainages. With warming temperatures roofs may start shedding their snow and cornices will become sensitive again.
Don’t forget your skin wax and scraper today!
Avalanche Problem #2
New Snow
On upper elevation shady slopes the new snow is settling and bonding to the old snow surface. However, in isolated areas there is potential to trigger new snow soft slabs, wind slabs, and sluffs. Even though they are small, if you're in rowdy terrain that's continuously steep or above cliffs, consequences can be high.
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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