Forecast for the Logan Area Mountains

Issued by Toby Weed for Wednesday, March 13, 2019 - 5:50am
MODERATE: Today's cold temperatures, cloud cover, and northwest winds will help to stabilize the wet snow in sunny terrain. The snow is stable and danger LOW at lower and mid elevations and on sheltered slopes today. Heightened conditions exist at upper elevations where you could trigger shallow avalanches of fresh wind drifted snow.
  • 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 4 inches of new snow overnight, with .3" SWE. It's 25ºF this morning and there is 92" of total snow with 107% of average SWE for the date. It's 15ºF at the 9700' CSI Logan Peak weather station, and northwest winds are currently averaging around 20 mph. The snow on most slopes is stable, with much colder temperatures, wind, and cloud cover helping to reduce wet snow instabilities in sunny terrain. Heightened avalanche conditions today at upper elevations, and you might trigger shallow avalanches of fresh wind drifted snow in some areas.

A cold pacific trough will cross the area through tonight with accumulating snow to the valley floors along the I-15 corridor. High pressure will build in late week bringing a more prolonged stretch of dry and increasingly mild weather. It'll snow in the mountains today, with 2 to 4 inches possible. High temperatures at 8500' expected be around 21 ºF, with 17 to 23 mph northwest winds. Snow will continue tonight, with 1 to 3 inches of accumulation possible. Low temperatures will be around 11º F, with 15 to 20 mph northwest winds. It will be sunny tomorrow, with high temperatures around 25ºF, and 16 mph north wind.
Recent Avalanches
There were numerous natural wet loose avalanches visible from Cache Valley, and yesterday the mountains looked like they were dripping hot wax.

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.

A sled triggered soft slab avalanche from Saturday (3/9/19) in White Pine Canyon.
Avalanche Problem #1
Wind Drifted Snow
You could trigger shallow avalanches of recently wind drifted snow in some upper elevation terrain.
Avalanche Problem #2
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... Today's snow 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.
Eric and Amy found this nice surface hoar yesterday, somewhere in the Southern Bear River Range.
Additional Information
I will update this forecast Friday 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
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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