31st Annual Backcountry Benefit - September 12th - Tickets Available Here!

Forecast for the Ogden Area Mountains

Dave Kelly
Issued by Dave Kelly on
Saturday morning, March 16, 2024
The avalanche danger is MODERATE in upper elevation terrain, where it will be possible for humans to trigger wind-drifted snow avalanches near ridgelines and on terrain features lower on the slope. With strong winds over the last few days, you may find areas of wind-drifted snow below 8,500' that will be sensitive to backcountry travelers and act more like high-elevation terrain.
Outside of the wind zone there is a LOW avalanche danger. With daytime warming there will be rollerballs, pinwheels, and small point releases potentially leading to shallow wet slab avalanches on solar aspects and the lowest elevation northerly facing terrain.
Learn how to read the forecast here
Special Announcements
Support the UAC website rebuild by donating to our Spring Campaign.
The Utah Avalanche Center is hosting The Banff Film Festival on Thursday, March 21, and Friday, March 22 in Moab.
Weather and Snow
Currently, under partly cloudy skies trailhead temperatures are in the low 30's °F and the highest elevations are in the low 20's °F. Winds are blowing from a southeasterly direction in the single digits gusting to the teens MPH at the lower elevation weather stations and from the east in the high 20's gusting to 40 MPH at the 9,000' ridge-lines. Downslope winds are still blowing strong at the mouths of the canyons and there is potential to see higher wind speeds and some snow being transported lower than you might expect.
Today, expect clear sunny skies. Temperatures will be 42-47 °F with a freezing level from 7,000'-8,000'. Winds will blow from the southeast 20 gusting to 25 MPH at the 8,000' ridge-lines and 25 gusting to 35 MPH at the 9,000' ridge-lines. No new snow is expected today. High pressure is forecast for the next five days with warm temperatures, before unsettled stormy weather returns later next week. Read more from our partners at the National Weather Service HERE.

The snow surface has taken a beating from the onslaught of easterly winds. This has led to wind drifted snow on all aspects and terrain features at upper, mid, and lower elevations. Warmer temperatures yesterday out of the wind zone affected the snow surface on south-west facing slopes and expect to find a melt-freeze crust on these aspects this morning. Sheltered terrain on the north-east facing side of the compass is still holding soft surface snow.
Photo from just north of the Ogden Area Mountains showing wind-affected snow surface (Pic: Weed)
Recent Avalanches
There were no backcountry observations from the Ogden Area Mountains yesterday. Ski area operations reported small avalanches involving wind-drifted snow on leeward aspects of terrain features and ridge-lines.
Check out all observations HERE.
Avalanche Problem #1
Wind Drifted Snow
The easterly flow, combined with soft snow available for transport, has created soft slabs of wind-drifted snow 1'-3' deep. These will be most pronounced on leeward-facing slopes; but high winds have loaded many aspects due to swirling and changing wind directions that have loaded terrain features lower on the slope and you can't discount finding an area of wind-drifted snow below 8,500'
Look for and avoid signs of wind-drifted snow such as texture and pillow-shaped features. Approach steep terrain features that could accumulate drifting snow cautiously.

Recently formed CORNICES are extremely hazardous. Limit your exposure to ridgelines near cornices and slopes below them. A cornice fall could trigger a slab of wind-drifted snow below.
Avalanche Problem #2
Wet Snow
With today's decreasing winds and increased temperature expect to see wet loose avalanche activity on solar aspects with daytime warming. This will be most evident in areas out of the wind zone and in steep rocky gully features facing the southerly half of the compass and in low elevation terrain. The best way to avoid this problem is to be off of sunny slopes before they start to take too much heat. Roller balls, dripping water off of rocks, and your boots or skis sinking into the surface snow are signs it's time to move to higher elevation terrain.
With warming temperatures and decreasing wind speeds, roof slides are a concern this weekend. Be aware of adults working solo outside or children playing as these are the people most susceptible to roof slides.
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.