Avalanche Advisory
Advisory: Ogden Area Mountains Issued by Trent Meisenheimer for Sunday - April 8, 2018 - 6:53am
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Today the avalanche danger is MODERATE at all mid and upper elevations for wet slab avalanches. Heavy rain up to 10,000 feet has soaked the snowpack. Water percolating through the snowpack could awaken buried layers and cause wet slab avalanches to break 3-5 feet deep.

The danger of these wet slabs should go away quickly with forecasted colder temperatures and no more water being added to the snowpack. For today, it's best to let the snowpack adjust to its load.

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current conditions

Current mountain temperatures are in the mid 30's °F at 8500'. Northwest winds are currently blowing 10-15 mph with gusts into the upper 20's across the high terrain.

Rain totals are impressive with 0.55 - 1.95" of snow water equivalent falling throughout the range. Snowbasin zone was the winner at close to 2" of water falling. Yes, these are rain totals - not snow. Yesterday, on my field day I noted rain all the way up to 10,400' in elevation in the Cottonwoods.

The upper snowpack is fully saturated by rain. Riding and turning conditions will be at an all time low - especially with cooling temperatures throughout the day. There might be a short window of riding this morning before the snow surface is fully frozen and crusted by this afternoon. As the snow surface starts to freeze slide for life conditions will become a problem.

Video below is from my field day in BCC yesterday. Heavy rain at times.

recent activity

Yesterday, during the rain event we had a natural wet loose avalanche cycle on all aspects and elevations. These wet loose avalanches were confined to the upper 6-10" of the snowpack - entraining all the snow above the March 22'nd crust. Many of these were small in size although a few were large enough to bury a person.

Drew Hardesty and Zinna Wilson have a good video from upper LCC highlighting the wet loose activity from yesterday. I suspect the Ogden area was the same.

Our Week in Review can be found by clicking here, including coverage of a recent avalanche cycle in the Provo mountains.

Avalanche Problem 1
type aspect/elevation characteristics
over the next 24 hours

With heavy rain soaking the snowpack you can expect water to be pooling on a variety of layers within the snowpack. I was able to get full propagation in my snowpit test yesterday (video below). Even though it took a relatively hard force to get the column to propagate (fracture) it tells me avalanches aren't fully out of the question.

Water percolating through the snowpack could awaken these layers and cause wet slab avalanches to break 3-5 feet deep mostly on NW, N and NE aspects where these faceted layers have existed for most of the season. With cooling temperatures the danger will be decreasing today and tomorrow and should quickly stabilize. However, I would continue to avoid steep terrain around the upper elevations. Lets wait and see how the snowpack reacts to this rain event.


Under a moist northwest flow we will see on and off again snow showers for much of the day. Temperatures will rise into the mid 30's at 9,000'. Winds will remain from the west/northwest and continue blowing 15-20 mph gusting into the 30's at upper elevations. 1-3" of new snow is possible today.

general announcements


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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.