Ogden Avalanche Advisory

Forecaster: Drew Hardesty


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Danger by aspect and elevation on slopes approaching 35° or steeper.
(click HERE for tomorrow's danger rating)

Danger Rose Tutorial

The avalanche danger will quickly rise to CONSIDERABLE on and below any steep slope that receives direct sun and or heating. Plan your backcountry travels with low angle options and exits. New snow avalanches have the potential to gouge down into wet snow at the mid to lower elevations, entraining large amounts of snow.

The rapid warming and direct sun will accentuate the possibility of triggering a deeper slide into the older weaker layers of our structured snowpack. A MODERATE danger exists for this as well as the for Isolated wind drifts in the high lee (easterly) alpine terrain from the few hours of gustier northwesterly winds.


Amazing to think that this storm more than doubled our entire snowfall from December.

Skies are partly to mostly cloudy and winds are generally light from the northwest. Almost overlooked were the bump in wind speeds - from 8pm to midnight they blew 35-45mph with a few gusts to 60- though they appeared to be confined to the highest ridgelines. Now for the temperatures. "Overnight" lows were at or just after dinner time and are 12-17 degrees warmer than Monday night's lows. As of 5am, many stations are already in the mid to upper 20s. Cloud cover also conspired to keep the heat in...and while all but the mid to high northerly aspects will sport breakable crust this morning, they'll be short-lived, particularly as the clouds "burn off".


We heard of no new avalanches from yesterday, though Doug Wewer scanned a few high on Ben Lomond and Willard Peak from the storm cycle.

To be sure, many lines were hit with impunity yesterday. Still, one skier triggered and was briefly caught in a 3' deep and 75' wide hard slab on Square Top's Wall of Voodoo along the Canyons' periphery. This was on a steep, thin rocky area in north facing terrain at 9400'. A repeater avalanche that had run at least once before. (photo and write-up by Jeff Moses).

Other reports from the avalanche cycle continue to filter in - one full depth climax avalanche near the Diving Board in upper Broads of BCC; timing uncertain.


      Over the next 11 hours.

The most widespread avalanche activity today will be related to any sun and heating. Clearing skies and blistering temps in the low to mid-40s will easily result in significant wet avalanching over the next few days with the damage likely peaking today. Long running natural and human triggered wet sluffs and slabs are likely with today's sun and heat. I don't expect 30-50" of storm snow to react well.

Damp and wet facets at the low to mid elevations seem to be active with big triggers. A new snow slide or wet sluff moving down slope could step down and triggered a larger wet slide. These lower elevation wet snow slides can gouge to the ground, particularly in thinner, saturated snowpack areas.


      Over the next 24 hours.

Clearly much of the snowpack has settled quite nicely over the last couple of days, but the close calls from Kessler Peak and Square Top should be more than enough to keep you honest. The most suspect areas include steep, thin, rocky terrain that has avalanched at least once early season. (Take a look a the Square Top photo again)

Buried persistent weak layers don't like to get stressed out. What then tends to stretch the rubberband?

30-50" of snow (a heavy load)

Rapid warming - it's the whole viscosity thing again (see Sunday March 4th's Avalanche Warning) - warmed snow tends to flow downhill faster, increasing the stress on weak interfaces below. Slow deformation leads to rapid deformation - which leads to an avalanche. It's a red flag for today.


Mostly cloudy skies will give way to the bluebird. Winds will be light as they back to the southwest. Temps will rise to the mid 40s at 8000' and near 32 at 10,000'. 10,000' temps will crest freezing over the next couple of days. The next potential for a storm is later Monday into Tuesday.



If you trigger an avalanche in the backcountry - especially if you are adjacent to a ski area – please call the following teams to alert them to the slide and whether anyone is missing or not. Rescue teams can be exposed to significant hazard when responding to avalanches, and do not want to do so when unneeded. Thanks.

Salt Lake and Park City – Alta Central (801-742-2033)

Ogden – Snowbasin Patrol Dispatch (801-620-1017)

Provo – Sundance Patrol Dispatch (801-223-4150)

Dawn Patrol Forecast Hotline, updated by 05:30: 888-999-4019 option 8.

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We will update this forecast tomorrow morning. Thanks for calling.

This information does not apply to developed ski areas or highways where avalanche control is normally done.  This advisory is from the U.S.D.A. Forest Service, which is solely responsible for its content. This advisory describes general avalanche conditions and local variations always occur.

This advisory provided by the USDA Forest Service, in partnership with:

The Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center, Utah Division of State Parks and Recreation, Utah Division of Emergency Management, Salt Lake County, Salt Lake Unified Fire Authority and the friends of the La Sal Avalanche Center. See our Sponsors Page for a complete list.