Forecast for the Logan Area Mountains

Issued by Toby Weed for Sunday, December 9, 2018 - 7:16am
MODERATE: Heightened avalanche conditions exist on shady upper elevation slopes with poor snow structure. Dangerous human triggered avalanches failing on a deeply buried persistent weak layer near the ground remain possible. Elsewhere the snow is much more stable, the avalanche danger LOW, and you can find nice snow and good coverage.
  • Evaluate snow and terrain carefully, use safe travel protocols.
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Weather and Snow
The Tony Grove Snotel at 8400' reports 16º F and there's 34"of total snow, containing 104% of average SWE for the date. It's 14º F on Ogden Peak and north wind is blowing around 10 mph.
You can find nice snow and good coverage for this time of year in the Logan Zone, but heightened avalanche conditions remain on upper elevation slopes with poor snow structure. Although becoming less likely with time, dangerous human triggered avalanches 1 to 3 feet deep remain possible.
Expect mostly sunny conditions in the mountains, with high temperatures at 8500' around 28º F and 5 to 8 mph north-northwest wind veering from the south-southeast during the day. Tonight will be partly cloudy with a low temperature around 20º F and 8 mph south-southwest wind. It'll be partly sunny tomorrow, with a high temperature around 32º F and 10 mph southeast wind. Valley inversions will strengthen over northern Utah through Monday. A couple storm systems will impact the Logan Zone Tuesday and Wednesday, with several inches of accumulation possible with each. There is some uncertainty with model runs showing an increase in potency, but snow showers will be likely in the mountains Tuesday, with up to 4 inches (or more) possible. Directly trailing the first storm will be a second one which looks to be stronger and colder. This system has cold air and good dynamics with it, but it will be moving through rapidly Wednesday which will keep snow amounts from being too great. 5 to 10 inches of accumulation is possible during the day Wednesday.
Recent Avalanches
  • Whumpfs or audible collapses and areas with poor snow structure at upper elevations continue to be reported by observers, but no new avalanches have occurred in the Logan Zone recently.
  • A skier was caught, carried, and injured in an avalanche yesterday in Porter Fork in the central Wasatch Range in the mountains above Salt Lake City. Drew Hardesty will visit the site today, but the preliminary report is HERE
Avalanche Problem #1
Persistent Weak Layer
Dangerous avalanches failing on a deeply buried persistent weak layer are becoming harder to trigger, but they remain possible.
  • The sugary weak snow near the ground is fairly shallow in the Logan Zone, so potential avalanches will be most likely on smooth upper elevation slopes or in pockets between rocky anchors and terrain features.
  • Collapsing and cracking indicate that the snow is unstable.
Shallow but loose and weak faceted snow lurks under the Thanksgiving slab. (Bedground Bowl 12/6/18)
Avalanche Problem #2
Normal Caution
  • Even small avalanches can be very dangerous with shallow, early season snow cover. You could get dragged through rocks or deadfall if you get caught and carried.
  • As always, avoid recently drifted snow in steep terrain.
  • Everyone in your party needs a working and up-to-date beacon, probe, and shovel. Practice avalanche rescue with your partners regularly.
General Announcements
Beaver Mountain is glad to allow non-motorized uphill traffic. You can find generally safe conditions, nice powder, and good coverage, and help pack out the ski hill. Remember, before it opens on December 12, Beaver Mountain is backcountry.
Now is a great time to practice companion rescue techniques with your backcountry partners. Here is our practice video.
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Remember your information can save lives. If you see anything we should know about, please help us out by submitting snow and avalanche observations. HERE You can call us at 801-524-5304, email by clicking HERE, or include #utavy in your Instagram.
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.

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