Forecast for the Logan Area Mountains

Toby Weed
Issued by Toby Weed for
Sunday, December 3, 2023
The danger is HIGH on drifted upper-elevation slopes facing northwest through southeast. Strong westerly winds overnight and around three feet of new snow overload slopes where we observed very weak, sugary snow before this weekend’s storm. A CONSIDERABLE danger exists on other drifted mid and upper-elevation slopes with preexisting snow cover. The danger is MODERATE, and avalanches are possible on slopes steeper than 30 degrees at low elevations and those bare of snow before the storm. However, we expect these to stabilize fairly quickly.
People should avoid being in or under drifted north and east-facing terrain at upper elevations. Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious route-finding, and conservative decision-making are essential for all backcountry travel today.
Learn how to read the forecast here
Special Announcements
Join the Utah Avalanche Center in Logan for the 20th Annual Pray for Snow Party and Fundraiser on Tuesday, Dec 5th, from 6:00-10:00 PM at The Cache to support avalanche forecasting, education, and awareness in northern Utah. Purchase tickets here.
The 5th Annual Avalanche Awareness Week is December 3-10. The week's goal is to save lives through activities that promote avalanche awareness, education, and safety. We have a variety of events around the state. Find an event near you.
Weather and Snow
The National Weather Service has continued a Winter Storm Warning for the Logan Zone through tomorrow morning. Heavy snowfall is expected to continue today and tonight in the Bear River Range, with another foot to a foot-and-a-half expected to accumulate on upper-elevation slopes. This morning, snowfall continues on the Beaver Mountain snowstake webcam, and westerly winds continue to howl across the high ridges. Significant drifting is ongoing, and slopes with underlying weak, sugary snow continue to take on a significant load.
The Tony Grove Snotel at 8400' reports 32" of settled snow from the storm so far, and westerly winds increased overnight on Logan Peak, with average wind speeds around 35 mph and gusts up to 72 mph. Elsewhere, about 20 inches accumulated at the new Card Canyon weather station, and a similar amount fell at Beaver Mt. The new weather station on Paris Peak reports overnight 30+ mph winds from the west and gusts up to 62 mph.
Before the storm, only about 2 feet of snow covered the rocks on the highest shady slopes in the Bear River Range. Recent cold temperatures subjected the shallow snow to a significant temperature gradient, causing it to become faceted and weak. There was very little snow at mid and lower elevations, and many sunny slopes were bare, as seen in my Wood Camp observation from Thursday.
Recent Avalanches
Evidence of small loose avalanches was apparent in steep lower elevation terrain in Logan Canyon yesterday, and we triggered several localized collapses and cracking up high on Beaver Mountain. Otherwise, no avalanches have yet been reported in the Logan Zone.
Several skier-triggered and natural avalanches were reported yesterday that occurred in the Wasatch Range backcountry above Salt Lake City and Provo...For more information, visit our avalanche list.
Avalanche Problem #1
Persistent Weak Layer
The meager November snow in upper elevation avalanche starting zones barely covers the rocks, and it is extremely weak and sugary due to its shallowness and sustained cold temperatures. As drifting snow from this weekend’s storm overloads this weak faceted snow, avalanches will likely fail on or within the old sugary snow, a persistent weak layer. Avalanches failing on a persistent weak layer could be triggered remotely, from a distance, or below. Cracking and collapsing (or whumpfs) are definite signs of instability.
Avalanche Problem #2
Wind Drifted Snow
Strong westerly winds are drifting large quantities of fresh snow into upper-elevation avalanche-starting zones, creating thick wind slabs in exposed terrain. People should avoid thicker drifted snow on the lee side of prominent ridges and in and around terrain features like sub-ridges, gully walls, and cliff bands.
Avalanche Problem #3
New Snow
With warming temperatures, the new snow is becoming denser and heavier on top. This is "inverted" or "upside-down” snow, and it’s prone to avalanching. Even on slopes bare before the storm, slabs of denser storm snow or wind-drifted snow could fail on layers within the new snow.
Additional Information
Additional Information:
It’s been a busy fall, and I’m happy to report that we’ve recently installed two new weather stations in the Logan Zone. They are both up and running, producing real-time data available to the public, and they will help us forecast mountain weather and local avalanche danger more accurately.
  • The Paris Peak Weather Station (available HERE) was installed in the northern Bear River Range near the summit of Paris Peak at around 9500 feet in elevation, northwest of Bear Lake. It measures mountain-top winds in a vast area without similar data.
  • We installed the Card Canyon Weather Station (available HERE) near Red Pine Ridge at about 8750 feet in elevation north of Logan Peak in upper Card Canyon. In addition to other weather details, this station will measure the total snow depth and its changes throughout the winter.

Taking time to pull out, check your companion rescue gear, and practice with your transceiver is essential.
General Announcements
The Tony Grove Road is not maintained for winter driving, and you will likely encounter very slick, snowy, and icy conditions if you venture up there.
Our 20th annual Pray For Snow fundraiser party will be on Tuesday night, December 5, at the Cache on Main Street in Logan. For more information and to get your tickets in advance, go to our events page.
Know Before You Go - December 6 - Utah State University, Logan. It’s Free! Please join us for a KBYG presentation hosted by Utah State University from 6:00 - 8:00 PM: Location: USU Aggie Recreation Center (ARC), 805 E 700 N, Logan, UT.
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.
We will update this forecast tomorrow morning.