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Forecast for the Ogden Area Mountains

Nikki Champion
Issued by Nikki Champion on
Wednesday morning, March 20, 2024
The avalanche danger is LOW this morning, but it will rise to MODERATE for wet snow avalanches on all steep solar (southerly) aspects and some mid and lower-elevation polar (northerly) aspects as the slopes heat up. It's time to move off of these aspects once the snow becomes wet, unsupportable, and unstable.
Avoid traveling on or underneath corniced ridgelines, as cornices may collapse due to warming.
Terrain that is prone to glide avalanches should also be avoided.
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Weather and Snow
This Morning, there are clear skies temperatures are sitting in the mid to upper 30s °F in the mountains. Temperatures did not drop below freezing in most places. Winds are generally light, near 10-15 mph at most elevations with upper elevation gusts near 25 mph.
Today will be another hot day, with sunshine and temperatures rising well into the upper 40s°F. Winds will be from the west/northwest and rising a bit, with gusts around 30 mph. Wind, sun, and warm temperatures have taken a toll on snow surfaces, but you can find dry, chalky snow on upper-elevation northerly aspects.
Outlook: Our long period of uncanny easterly winds has run its course as winds shift to a westerly direction and increase ahead of unsettled weather and snow showers on Thursday. After a brief break on Friday, a cold front is expected this weekend with unsettled weather through at least the early part of next week. It's too early to talk about snowfall amounts, but they could be significant!
Recent Avalanches
Generally quiet in the backcountry. There were reports of wet loose avalanches on sunny aspects during afternoon heating.
Check out all recent Observations HERE.
Avalanche Problem #1
Wet Snow
Today, avalanches involving wet snow are likely as the snow surface heats up from sunshine and warm temperatures. Temperatures will rise well into the 40s and even 50s today, and the snowpack still holds cold snow underneath the damp surface—any slopes that have yet to avalanche still hold the potential. This problem is most pronounced on steep slopes, especially those around rocky features, facing east/south/west, but also on low-elevation northerly facing terrain as temperatures increase throughout the day.
Avoid traveling on or underneath large cornices, as they may become sensitive to heating and collapse naturally onto the slope below.
Wet snow can easily be managed by moving to shadier slopes once the snow surface takes on too much heat. Watch for signs of warming such as rollerballs and sluffing in wet snow, as shown in the photo below.

Glide avalanches are again a concern and will be with us until the snow has melted. Glide avalanche terrain includes Stairs Gulch, Broads Fork, Mill B South, and Mineral Fork. You can learn more about these large, unpredictable avalanches in this blog post by former UAC director Bruce Tremper.
Photo of some wet activity off of Rodeo Ridge from the 17th. B. Smith
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.