Persistent slab avalanches are notoriously unpredictable and are aptly named. Poor structure exists above about 8000' on the shady aspects and may be triggered by heavy loads or by finding a thinner snowpack area. An avalanche triggered in the backcountry north of Snowbasin in Hells Canyon before this weekend's storm was a good warning that with the additional load of snow more like that can occur. Low angle terrain rides well without the hazard.
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Skies are clear with temperatures in the mid-20s. Winds picked up a touch overnight, exhaled, and have again picked up out of the west southwest. The Ogden and Logan area mounains may see stronger and gustier winds today. Skiing and riding conditions remain quite good in the sheltered shady slopes. Sunny aspects will have a breakable crust this morning.
Excellent reports from the past few days -
No avalanches of significnce yesterday, except further south in the Bountiful Sessions mountains where explosive testing produced two large (size 3) avalanches on steep northeast facing slopes at roughly 9000', running fast and far and leaving significant debris piles. No significant avalanches with control work at the resorts.
High and dry with some more cloud cover filtering through this afternoon. Expect ridgetop highs to be in the mid-30s with light west to southwest winds. I expect the winds to pick up this afternoon, particularly in the Ogden, Logan area mountains and along the Idaho border. A weak cold front moves through Friday night and we may see a few flakes of snow. Saturday has some clearing with high pressure building back over the state. Some clouds early week. Later in teh week looks interesting...though it may be a southern Utah special. Stay tuned.
Warmer overnight temperatures, early direct sun, and temps warming to the 40s at the mid-elevations, and perhaps some later afternoon greenhousing will certainly activate the wet avalache activity. Natural and human triggered wet avalanches will be likely and may subsequently trigger still-stabilizing storm slabs on the way downslope. I expect there may be decent debris piles beneath the steepest, most sustained avalanche slopes. Don't overstay your welcome - the window will be quite narrow between breakable crust and wet/unstable. Choose the cold snow instead.
KEY POINT: ROOF-A-LANCHES will be a significant concern. Watch for many houses to shed their winter coats with the sun and daytime heating. Fatalities have occurred due to this very real hazard.
Aside from the two primary problems listed above. Some storm slab and wind slab avalanches remain possible. These are becoming less likely but the possibility remains. Photo below shows an example of a small storm slab avalanche triggered yesterday at the head of Big Cottonwood Canyon. Also, watch out for large cornices that have grown even larger with recent snowfall. These monsters may break closer to the ridge than you'd expect.
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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.