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Forecast for the Ogden Area Mountains

Dave Kelly
Issued by Dave Kelly on
Sunday morning, March 17, 2024
The avalanche danger will rise to MODERATE at all elevations facing east-south-west, where it will be possible for humans to trigger wet loose snow avalanches that could lead to shallow wet slab avalanches on steep solar aspects. All other aspects have a LOW avalanche danger.
Dealing with a wet-snow problem is a matter of timing and avoiding being on damp surfaces during the warmest part of the day is the best approach.
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Weather and Snow
Currently, under high clouds trailhead temperatures are in the mid 30's °F and the highest elevations are in the mid 20's °F. Winds are blowing from an easterly direction in the single digits MPH at the lower elevation weather stations and in the mid-20's gusting to the 40's MPH at the 9,000' ridge-lines. Select locations that are favored by easterly winds had gusts to 80 MPH overnight. Downslope winds continue to blow at the mouths of the canyons and exposed areas in the Ogden Area Mountains could see increased wind speeds in the 60's gusting to the 80's MPH throughout the day.
Today, expect thin clouds transitioning to sunny skies. Temperatures will be 44-49 °F with a freezing level from 7,000'-8,000'. Winds will blow from an easterly direction 25 gusting to 30 MPH at the 8,000' ridge-lines and 30 gusting to 40 MPH at the 9,000' ridge-lines. No new snow is expected today. Unsettled stormy weather returns later next week. Read more from our partners at the National Weather Service HERE.

The snow surface in many locations is tired and made-up of wind-affected surfaces, firm melt-freeze crust or damp snow depending on the time of day. Protected upper elevation north facing terrain is still sheltering a soft snow surface.
Recent Avalanches
Yesterday, there were reports of shallow wet loose avalanches out of the wind zone.

Check out all recent Observations HERE.
Avalanche Problem #1
Wet Snow
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. 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. This wet snow problem is most pronounced on steep terrain facing east-south-west but not to be discounted in lower elevation north facing terrain.
Wet slides also have the potential to run further than expected and can impact backcountry travelers that are below avalanche terrain.
Avalanche Problem #2
Wind Drifted Snow
There will be isolated areas where you may find soft slabs of wind-drifted snow 1'-3' deep. These will be most pronounced on leeward-facing slopes; but sporadic winds have loaded many aspects and elevations and I wouldn't discount finding an area of wind-drifted snow in mid-elevation terrain.
Look for and avoid signs of wind-drifted snow such as texture and pillow-shaped features. Approach steep terrain features that have accumulated drifting snow cautiously.
Limit your exposure to ridgelines near cornices and slopes below them. A cornice fall could trigger a slab of wind-drifted snow below.
Additional Information
Check out Drew Hardesty's blog on traveling during LOW danger HERE.
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.