Forecast for the Logan Area Mountains

Issued by Toby Weed for Monday, March 11, 2019 - 6:02am
MODERATE: The snow is stable on most slopes, and avalanche danger is diminishing after last week's heavy snow. But, there are still areas with heightened avalanche conditions at mid and upper elevations in the Logan Zone. Human triggered avalanches 1 to 2 feet deep remain possible. Avalanches could fail on a persistent weak layer of sugary faceted snow capping a melt-freeze crust or possibly surface hoar buried by last week's storm. Solar heating could cause heightened wet avalanche conditions on sunny slopes.
  • Evaluate snow and terrain carefully.
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Special Announcements
Enjoy spring skiing at Snowbasin Resort. The UAC has discount Snowbasin tickets available. HERE
Weather and Snow
The Tony Grove Snotel at 8400' reports 20 ºF this morning and there is 97" of total snow with 109% of average SWE for the date. It's 17 ºF at the 9700' CSI Logan Peak weather station, and easterly winds are currently averaging around 15 mph. Although the snow on most slopes is stable, heightened avalanche conditions still exist in places, and you might trigger 1 to 2 foot deep avalanches on some upper and mid elevation slopes. Solar warming could cause heightened wet avalanche conditions on sunny slopes today.

A fairly strong storm system is expected to cross the area midweek with accumulating snow to the valley floors. High pressure will build in after that bringing a more prolonged stretch of dry and mild weather. It'll be mostly sunny today, with high temperatures at 8500' expected be around 34 ºF, with 10 mph east winds, veering from the west-southwest in the afternoon. It will be mostly clear tonight, low temperatures expected to be around 17º F, with 5 to 10 mph south-southwest winds. It'll be sunny tomorrow with high temperatures around 32 ºF, with 8 to 14 mph south-southwest wind.
Recent Avalanches
Snowmobilers triggered a couple good sized soft slab avalanches on Saturday. One on a south facing slope at around 8700' in elevation in Boss Canyon in Franklin Basin near the Idaho State Line, the other on a southeast facing slope at around 8400' in White Pine Canyon. The avalanches appear to have failed on a thin sugary or faceted persistent weak layer on top of a melt-freeze crust that was on the snow surface at the beginning of March.
Sled triggered avalanche in Boss Canyon from Saturday 3/9/19

A sled triggered soft slab avalanche from Saturday (3/9/19) in White Pine Canyon.
Avalanche Problem #1
Persistent Weak Layer
Avalanches could fail on a persistent weak layer that was buried by last week's storm. This weekend's avalanches failed on sugary or faceted snow grains atop a melt-freeze crust, perhaps what we call radiation recrystallization... The storm also may have preserved surface hoar that was fairly widespread on the snow surface at upper elevations. These kinds of weaknesses usually heal pretty quickly this time of year, but we have to consider the possibility of the instability lingering in places.
Small sugary or faceted grains on top of a melt-freeze crust at the crown of the snowmobiler triggered Whit Pine Avalanche.
Avalanche Problem #2
Wind Drifted Snow
There is still plenty of soft fresh snow that can easily be drifted if the winds pick up. Winds were fairly light and easterly yesterday and overnight, but you are likely to find soft drifts of wind drifted snow on some upper elevation slopes that are possible to trigger.
Avalanche Problem #3
Wet Snow
Solar warming could cause the surface snow on sunny slopes to become damp and sticky or even saturated and slushy. Loose wet avalanches will become increasingly likely on slopes that are exposed to direct sun for an extended period. If the snow you're on starts to get sticky or wet, you should leave and head somewhere else.
Additional Information
I will update this forecast Wednesday 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, USU Outdoor Program, and Beaver Mountain Ski Patrol for helping us to make this possible.
General Announcements
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
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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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