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Forecast for the Ogden Area Mountains

Greg Gagne
Issued by Greg Gagne on
Friday morning, March 8, 2024
The avalanche danger is MODERATE on wind-drifted slopes at the upper elevations where triggering shallow soft slabs of wind-drifted snow are possible. Also watch for long-running sluffing in the dry new snow in steep northerly-facing terrain. The avalanche danger may rise to MODERATE on steep, sunny slopes facing southeast through west with sluffing in loose, wet snow. The avalanche danger is LOW on low and mid elevation aspects facing northwest through east.

If you choose to step into bigger terrain, evaluate each slope carefully for wind-drifted snow and consider the consequences of your terrain choices if you get caught in even a small avalanche.
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Weather and Snow
This morning: Skies are partly-cloudy and temperatures range through the teens. Winds are from the north/northwest and light, less than 10 mph. 2-4" of new snow has fallen over the past 24 hours.

Today: Mostly sunny skies with temperatures from 20-30° F at the mid and and upper elevations and reaching the mid 30's F at low elevations. Winds will be from the north/northwest and light, gusting hear 20 mph along the Ogden Skyline. With some low-level moisture in place, greenhousing (where heat is trapped and dampens the snow surface) is possible and may also lead to some light snow showers.
Although some slopes will be crusted from Thursday, soft snow can be found on many slopes above about 7,200' where travel and riding conditions are generally superb.

Extended Forecast: Sunny with rising temperatures this weekend with light snow possible early this coming week. A potentially significant winter storm possible by about Wednesday.
Recent Avalanches
In our field day yesterday in Black Canyon adjacent to Ben Lomond, we found minor avalanche activity including shallow wind slabs and sensitive cornices along exposed ridgelines and long-running natural sluffs (photo below) in a short natural avalanche cycle that occurred late morning.
As we transition to a generally stable snowpack and many are starting to pursue bigger objectives, be sure to read Drew Hardesty's latest blog "Is it REALLY Low Danger?"
Avalanche Problem #1
Wind Drifted Snow
Sensitive soft slabs of wind-drifted snow and fresh cornices can be found at the upper elevations. Any wind drifts you encounter are likely to be shallow (4-8") and not wide (20-40'), but they may be large enough to carry you in steeper terrain.

With reports of sensitive and large cornices adorning many ridges, stay well back from corniced ridgelines.

To learn more about wind in the mountains, check out Logan forecaster Toby Weed's Blog.
Avalanche Problem #2
Wet Snow
Cool temperatures and a snow surface that has already seen some warming should keep wet avalanche activity to a minimum today. But the strong March sun will heat the snow surface and I expect some loose sluffing in wet snow on steep solar aspects, with possible greenhousing at low elevations. This is especially a concern in steep gullies and chutes where wet sluffs may run long distances and a rider may be unable to escape.
Additional Information
Come join Snowbasin Ski Patrol and Wasatch Backcountry Rescue for an Avalanche Dog Fundraiser on Saturday, March 9 at 6 PM at the Union Grill (315 24th Street, Ogden UT).
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.