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Forecast for the Logan Area Mountains

Toby Weed
Issued by Toby Weed for
Saturday, March 11, 2023
There is CONSIDERABLE danger at all elevations on backcountry slopes facing all directions steeper than 30°. Long running natural avalanches are possible and people are likely to trigger 1 to 3-foot-thick slab avalanches in drifted mid and upper elevation terrain. Wet avalanches entraining big piles of rain-saturated snow are likely at low elevations, especially in the heat of the day on sunny slopes.

Dangerous avalanche conditions exist so careful snowpack evaluation, cautious route-finding, and conservative decision making are essential.
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Special Announcements
The UAC is sad to report that two skiers were caught and buried in a large avalanche in Upper Weber Canyon in the Uintas Thursday. One skier was successfully rescued and survived. Sadly, the other skier was buried deeper and did not survive. A preliminary report is available HERE.
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Weather and Snow
Last week's fine powder conditions are now just a memory, and conditions are completely different this weekend. Heavy inverted snow, rain, and very strong southwest winds yesterday elevated the avalanche danger and made backcountry travel difficult. Hopefully clearing overnight and sublimation dried out and reverted the new snow, and people will find better powder conditions today. Dangerous avalanche conditions are likely in the backcountry, especially in windy terrain, and people need to pay close attention to signs of instability like cracking or collapsing. Colder temperatures overnight probably helped with the wet avalanche problem by freezing up the saturated snow, but warmer daytime temperatures and powerful sun today will revive the concern. Loose wet avalanches could entrain large piles of heavy snow and be a significant risk, especially with terrain traps below steep slopes.

The 8400' Tony Grove Snotel reports well over a foot of heavy snow with 1.7" SWE from yesterday's warm storm on top of the 15" of cold light powder from midweek. It's 18° F this morning, and there is 136 inches of total snow. Gale force winds from the southwest were recorded yesterday at the 9700' CSI Logan Peak weather station, with sustained hourly average wind speeds in excess of 50 mph for several hours and gusts close to 100 mph (98 mph) yesterday evening. Winds subsided overnight and are now blowing from the northwest 20 to 30 mph.
Here is the NWS point forecast for high elevations in the Central Bear River Range:
Today: A slight chance of snow between 9am and 11am. Mostly sunny, with a high near 25. Wind chill values as low as -6. West wind 13 to 17 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
Tonight: A 30 percent chance of snow after 2am. Increasing clouds, with a low around 10. Wind chill values as low as -2. West southwest wind around 9 mph. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
Sunday:Snow likely, mainly after 11am. Cloudy, with a high near 30. West southwest wind around 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.

Unsettled weather will continue, with another stronger wave of stormy weather expected around Tuesday night.
Recent Avalanches
  • Yesterday, we observed widespread natural wet loose avalanches and goo goo balls on steep slopes at lower elevations. Natural avalanches of drifted storm snow probably occurred on steep slopes at upper and mid elevations, but poor visibility prevented anyone from seeing them.
  • For a list of avalanches in the Logan Zone go HERE
  • It was a bit more active in the Wasatch Range yesterday. Find a list of all recent observations & avalanches from across Utah HERE.
Avalanche Problem #1
Wind Drifted Snow
Avalanches of wind drifted snow, 1 to 3 feet thick, are likely for people to trigger in windy terrain at mid and upper elevations, but will be larger and more likely on upper elevation slopes. Drifting of yesterday's heavy snow built out already huge cornices and created thick new wind slabs...
  • People are likely to trigger shallow soft slab or loose avalanches of heavier storm snow on slopes steeper than 30° at all elevations, even in sheltered terrain.
  • Avoid corniced slopes and stiffer drifts on steep slopes near ridges and in and around terrain features like cliff bands, sub-ridges, mid-slope break-overs, and gully walls.
  • The overhanging cornices on the high peaks and ridges have become huge with recent storms, so its a good idea to continue to stay well away and out from under them.
  • Avalanches of wind drifted snow failing on a persistent weak layer might be triggered remotely or from a distance.
Avalanche Problem #2
Wet Snow
  • Natural and human triggered wet avalanches entraining significant piles of saturated snow are possible on steep slopes at lower elevations today. The danger will be higher on sunny slopes in the midday warmth.
  • These could occur on unexpected slopes and slide down onto trails or access roads, or into the river. People who don't normally have to deal with avalanche risk may be affected, so be careful where you walk the dog, run, bike, or go fishing today.
  • Avoid being under all steep slopes with rain saturated snow
General Announcements
  • Please submit your observations from the backcountry HERE.
  • For a list of avalanche classes from the Utah Avalanche Center go HERE
  • For information on where you can ride your sled or snowbike, check out this map of the winter travel plan for the Logan and Ogden Ranger Districts HERE, and a close up of the Tony Grove and Franklin Basin Areas HERE.
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.