UDOT PLANNED AVALANCHE CLOSURES!!

Forecast for the Logan Area Mountains

Toby Weed
Issued by Toby Weed for
Sunday, April 2, 2023
There is CONSIDERABLE danger on drifted backcountry slopes steeper than 30°, especially in mid and upper elevation easterly facing terrain. Large natural cornice falls are possible, and these or people are likely to trigger 2 to 3' thick and 100-200' wide slab avalanches of wind drifted snow. Heightened conditions exist and avalanches of storm snow are possible in all other terrain, and on low elevation slopes there is potential for natural wet avalanches entraining big piles of heavy saturated new snow.
Dangerous avalanche conditions dictate careful snow and terrain evaluation as well as cautious decision making. Continue to avoid frequently running avalanche paths and avalanche runouts.
Low
Moderate
Considerable
High
Extreme
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Weather and Snow
Dangerous conditions exist on drifted upper elevation slopes, people are likely to trigger large avalanches of wind drifted snow, and long running natural avalanches are possible. With three feet of new snow in the past couple days, soft slab and loose avalanches of storm snow are possible on steep slopes at all elevations, even in sheltered terrain. Seasonal warmth and potential for a little rain on the snow will elevate the danger of wet avalanches entraining big piles of moist new snow on steep lower elevation slopes.
The 8400' Tony Grove Snotel reports over three feet of new snow from Friday's storm, and it is snowing again this morning. Looks like another inch or two fell overnight, it's 23°F and there is 157" of total snow. The wind is blowing from the west-northwest around 15 mph (with gusts to 26 mph) at UDOT's Logan Summit weather station.
Here is the NWS point forecast (36 hrs) for high elevations in the Central Bear River Range:
Today: Snow. The snow could be heavy at times. High near 30. Wind chill values as low as 5. Breezy, with a west wind 18 to 24 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Total daytime snow accumulation of 4 to 8 inches possible.
Tonight: Snow. The snow could be heavy at times. Low around 15. Wind chill values as low as 8. Breezy, with a west wind 17 to 22 mph becoming east 5 to 10 mph after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 5 to 9 inches possible.
Monday: Snow. The snow could be heavy at times. High near 27. Wind chill values as low as 6. East wind 6 to 15 mph becoming northwest in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 4 to 8 inches possible.
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the Logan Zone starting at noon today and extending through Tuesday evening.
Recent Avalanches
  • I noticed evidence of some large natural avalanches in the Wellsvilles yesterday, but views of the high country were mostly obscurred by plumes of snow blowing off the peaks and ridges.
You can barely make out a broad crown from a natural avalanche of wind drifted snow in the upper reaches of Shumway Canyon in the Wellsville Mountain Wilderness.
  • A few natural wet loose avalanches occurred at lower elevations in Logan Canyon friday, including a couple that went into the Logan River below Temple Fork.
  • For a list of recent avalanches in the Logan Zone go HERE
  • There was lots of natural avalanche activity in the mountains of Northern Utah yesterday. Find a list of all recent observations & avalanches from across Utah HERE.
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Avalanche Problem #1
Wind Drifted Snow
Type
Location
Likelihood
Size
Description
This morning, westerly winds have dimiished a bit but they continue to drift tons fresh snow into lee slope avalanche starting zones. If you go into upper elevation terrain today expect to find dangerous conditions with huge, potentially mouse trap sensitive cornices, and thick, freshly formed wind slabs.
  • Large natural or triggered cornice falls are possible, and 2' to 4' thick soft and harder wind slabs are likely for people to trigger in windy terrain at upper and mid elevations.
  • 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.
  • Evidence of instability could include cracking or collapsing, and some avalanches might be triggered remotely or from a distance.
  • The overhanging cornices on the high ridges are huge this year, and recent storms have built them further out and made them unstable, so people should continue to stay well away and out from under them.
Avalanche Problem #2
New Snow
Type
Location
Likelihood
Size
Description
  • With over three feet of recently fallen new snow, soft slab and loose avalanches of storm snow are possible even in generally sheltered terrain on steep slopes where significant new snow accumulated.
  • Natural avalanches are possible during periods of heavy snowfall or when significant drifting rapidly overloads a slope, but they could be triggered by cornice falls or tree bombs at any time.
  • Heightened conditions are found at low elevations, especially in very steep northerly facing terrain including on shady forested slopes.
  • High angle April sun, possible greenhousing, or rain on the snow could quickly moisten the new snow and rapidly increase potential for wet avalanches.
  • Wet avalanches could occur in unexpected places. We have seen numerous wet avalanches at low elevations this year even in places where we've not really seen any avalanches before.
Additional Information
Obvious drifting going on Saturday, plumes of snow blowing off the Wellsville Range and on up into the atmosphere.

Check out this recent video from KUTV:
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 snow-bike, 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.