Forecast for the Logan Area Mountains

Issued by Toby Weed for Friday, February 8, 2019 - 6:21am
CONSIDERABLE: Areas with dangerous avalanche conditions exist on drifted upper elevation slopes. Beware of large unstable cornices and slopes overloaded by wind drifted snow. Dangerous human triggered avalanches consisting of wind drifted snow and failing on a buried persistent weak layer are likely in some places. You can find safer conditions, LOW danger, and pretty nice powder at lower elevations and on lower angled slopes.
  • Make conservative decisions and evaluate snow and terrain carefully.
  • Avoid and stay out from under large ridge-top cornices and steep slopes with recent or previous deposits of wind drifted snow.
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Special Announcements
Take time this winter to make avalanche education a priority for you and your backcountry partners. Join the UAC's Backcountry 101, Introduction to Avalanches Class this weekend at Powder Mountain. Get more details on the UAC Education page.
Weather and Snow
Dangerous conditions exist on drifted upper elevation slopes, but you can find nice snow and safer conditions at lower elevations, on lower angled slopes, and in sunny or sheltered terrain. We found mostly stable snow and very nice fast shallow powder conditions at lower elevations in Logan Canyon yesterday.

The Tony Grove Snotel at 8400' reports 2º F this morning and there's 74" of total snow containing 98% of average SWE for the date. It's 2º F, at the 9700' CSI Logan Peak weather station. South-southwest winds are increasing this morning and are currently averaging around 30 mph.
High pressure will shift east of the area today. A weak storm system will pass through the region Saturday, with a much stronger cold front forecast to surge through Utah late Sunday into Sunday night. An active pattern is expected to continue through much of next week.
Today in the Logan Zone, it'll be mostly cloudy in the mountains, with temperatures at 8500' expected to be around 14º F, and 11 to 18 mph east winds veering from the southwest in the afternoon. Wind chill values of -26º F at times! Tonight, temperatures will fall to around 1º F and 15 to 17 mph south wind will cause wind chills around 18º F below zero. Snow is likely tomorrow afternoon, with 1 to 3 inches of accumulation possible, high temperatures near 18º F and 14 to 17 mph south winds, veering from the east in the afternoon.
Recent Avalanches
One snowmobiler is missing in an avalanche east of Beaver, UT near Circleville Mountain. The missing person is not wearing a transceiver. SAR operations are underway this Friday morning. Mark Staples is heading to the accident site and we will issue a report on this as soon as we can.
I could see blown-in and covered up evidence of fairly extensive natural activity in the Wellsville Mountain Wilderness, likely from Monday. There was also some fresher activity apparent, involving loose sluffs or soft slabs of wind drifted drifted snow. I caught a glimpse yesterday evening of a large hard slab avalanche on the north side of Logan Peak, that looks to have released on a deeply buried persistent weak layer.
Fresh wind drifted snow avalanche activity in the Wellsville Mt Wilderness was visible from Mendon yesterday.

It has been active in the last few days across the state. Recent avalanche reports are on our avalanche page... HERE
Large, deep hard slab avalanches like this natural on the Wasatch Crest ridge above Park City are possible in some areas where heavy drifted new snow overloaded buried persistent weak layers.
Avalanche Problem #1
Wind Drifted Snow
Dangerous conditions exist on drifted upper elevation slopes. Human triggered avalanches, 1 to 3 feet deep and large cornice falls are likely today. Cornices are likely to break much further back than expected and could be quite large. You could encounter fresh, soft wind slabs or stiff harder old drifts that allow you to get out on them before releasing. Avalanches and cornice falls are most likely at upper elevations on slopes facing north, northeast, and east, but possible on many upper and mid elevation slopes.
  • Avoid wind drifted snow on the lee side of major ridges and in and around terrain features like sub-ridges, scoops, stringers, cliff bands, and gullies.
Avalanche Problem #2
Persistent Weak Layer
Avalanches of wind drifted snow are likely to fail on a recently buried persistent weak layer. Frost or feathery surface hoar and thick and thinner layers of small-grained near surface facets plagued the snow surface on many slopes before the storm. These are notorious persistent weak layers, and in some areas were buried intact, so the danger of avalanches failing on one will linger for a while. In some areas you could trigger avalanches remotely or from a distance.
The storm added a good deal of weight to slopes with poor snow structure and has increased the danger of avalanches failing on a deeper persistent weak layer. Buried layers of sugary faceted snow have probably been reactivated. Dangerous, 3 to 5-foot-deep hard slab avalanches are possible for people to trigger, especially on steep, recently drifted slopes with poor snow structure. It is possible to trigger a deep hard slab avalanche from a thin area of the slab.
Additional Information
I will update this forecast Saturday morning.
The new weather station at the WSU Bloomington Canyon Yurt is up and running. Data available HERE
Now is a great time to practice companion rescue techniques with your backcountry partners. You should check out and use the new Avalanche Beacon Training Park we set up at the Franklin Basin trailhead. Special thanks to Northstars Ultimate Outdoors and USU Outdoor Program for helping us to make this possible.
General Announcements
We're excited about the CROWBAR backcountry ski race, planned for tomorrow Saturday, 2/9. The fun ski mountaineering race will be held in the Swan Flats/Garden City Canyon Area. For more information go...HERE
The Beaver Mountain Backside is the backcountry, and it is avalanche terrain. Same goes for the steep rocky terrain adjacent to Cherry Peak Resort. If you leave a ski area boundary, you and your partners should carry and practice with avalanche rescue equipment and follow safe backcountry travel protocols.
Check out the improved weather links, road conditions, and weather links for each forecast region on the new UAC IOS App. Do you use the NOAA point forecast? If so, now you can bookmark your favorite weather locations in "My Weather" in the App. HERE
Are you new to the backcountry or looking to refresh your skills? The UAC has released a free 5-part avalanche skills eLearning series. HERE
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This forecast is from the U.S.D.A. Forest Service, which is solely responsible for its content. The forecast describes general avalanche conditions and local variations always occur.

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