Forecast for the Logan Area Mountains

Toby Weed
Issued by Toby Weed for
Tuesday, March 14, 2023
Heightened conditions and MODERATE danger are found at all elevations on backcountry slopes steeper than 30°. Avalanches are possible on drifted upper and mid elevation slopes, where people could trigger large cornice falls and/or 1 to 3-foot-thick slab avalanches. Loose wet avalanches are possible on lower elevation slopes as the snow is softened by daytime warmth and rain. Drifting from increasing southwest winds, warmth, and rain down low will elevate avalanche danger this afternoon.

Elevated avalanche conditions exist at all elevations, so evaluate snowpack and terrain carefully.
Dangerous conditions will continue to develop tonight, with heavy snow up high, rain down lower, and strong wind blowing from the southwest. The danger is likely to rise to HIGH in the backcountry tomorrow, long running natural avalanches will be a concern, and people will be wise to avoid travel in avalanche terrain.
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Special Announcements
The UAC is currently working with the operation involved in Thursday's fatal avalanche in the Uintas to prepare a report. Please be patient as we sort out the details of this complicated incident. A preliminary report is available HERE.
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Weather and Snow
Friday's snow has set up a bit, but you still punch through in places to the softer, colder snow from last week. I found somewhat difficult traveling conditions on skis in stiff-->soft inverted snow in the Beaver Mountain Backcountry yesterday. I also found a thin buried weak layer of sugary snow right under Friday's heavier snow. The next Pacific atmospheric river storm is on our doorstep, and heavy snow, rain, and drifting by increasingly strong south-southwest winds will elevate avalanche danger in the backcountry.
The 8400' Tony Grove Snotel reports 2 inches of new snow from yesterday. It's 30° F this morning, and there is 130 inches of total snow. The wind increased this morning and it is now blowing from the southwest 25 to 30 mph at the 9700' CSI Logan Peak weather station.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the Logan Zone starting tonight and extending through Wednesday night. We are at a point in the season where direct action avalanches are the rule, and large natural avalanche events occur almost weekly, during each storm. The avalanches are caused by heavy snowfall, drifting from strong winds, and/or rain on snow.
Here is the NWS point forecast for high elevations in the Central Bear River Range:
Today: Snow likely, mainly after 3pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 34. Breezy, with a south southwest wind 18 to 22 mph, with gusts as high as 36 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. Total daytime snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.
Tonight: Snow before 3am, then snow showers after 3am. The snow could be heavy at times. Some thunder is also possible. Steady temperature around 31. Windy, with a south southwest wind 26 to 33 mph, with gusts as high as 50 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 7 to 11 inches possible.
Wednesday: Snow. The snow could be heavy at times. Temperature falling to around 21 by 5pm. Wind chill values as low as 6. Windy, with a west wind 28 to 33 mph decreasing to 20 to 25 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 50 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 11 to 17 inches possible.
Snowfall will taper off Wednesday night, and we'll see fair weather and even a little sun for the end of the week and heading into the weekend.
Recent Avalanches
  • Over the weekend, we observed evidence of widespread natural avalanche activity from Friday's warm and windy storm across the Logan Zone.
  • 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 more likely for people to trigger in windy terrain at upper elevations. Drifting of Friday's heavy snow built out already huge cornices and created thick wind slabs... Increasing winds blowing from the south-southwest today will find some snow to drift to build out the huge cornices and create new wind slabs.
  • 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 are possible and might be triggered remotely or from a distance.
Avalanche Problem #2
Wet Snow
Warming temperatures and rain at lower elevations will increase the danger of wet avalanches today. More than normal snow cover exists even at very low elevations, and snow will become unstable as it is saturated and loosened up by rain. Loose avalanches of saturated snow could entrain large piles of very heavy snow and threaten lower elevation trails, access roads, and some of my favorite fishing holes down on the river.
Additional Information
I found a buried persistent weak layer Monday in the Beaver Backcountry that seemed somewhat widespread. A thin layer of sugary faceted snow at the interface of Friday's storm 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.