Wasatch-Cache National Forest  In partnership with:  Utah State Parks and Recreation, Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center-Logan, and Utah State University College of Natural Resources.


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Logan area Avalanche advisory

Monday January 16, 2006

Hello and good morning, this is Toby Weed of the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your Logan area backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  It's Monday January 16th at 7:00 am.  This advisory is brought to you in part by the Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center in Logan with help from Backcountry Access Inc.

Current Conditions:

After dropping several inches of light powder on the regional mountains, yesterday's well-advertised storm fizzled with an evening northerly wind-shift.  We still picked up a decent shot of fluff, with about 10 inches containing .6 inches of water recorded at the Franklin Basin Snotel site, .7 inches of water at Tony Grove, and a clean foot at Ben Lomond.  Today will be a blue-bird classic in the backcountry, but compared to the recent balmy weather it'll seem pretty cold.  In fact, mountain temperatures   plummeted into the lower teens and single digits under clear skies overnight.   You'll be able to find plenty of great snow anywhere you go today, with the best powder conditions stashed in shady sheltered areas where sun and wind could not damage the soft underlying snow.  Enjoy the fair weather and good visibility today because the upcoming week looks rather stormy.

Avalanche Conditions:

After blasting the ridges with sustained and strong southwesterly winds on Friday, the tempest  mellowed substantially before snowfall began yesterday morning.  But, with such fluffy snowfall, it doesn't take much wind to form sensitive drifts.  The north wind is forecast to increase this morning, and resulting drifting could cause the avalanche danger to rise a little on some steep slopes.  With the exceptions of freshly forming drifts and the now-buried wind slabs formed on Friday, you'll find mostly stable snow conditions in the backcountry.  Since today's drifts will be both easy to identify and fairly manageable if they avalanche, I'm more concerned about those formed on Friday.  Ridge-top and fetch area hard-slabs will be hidden under a foot or so of light snow, and they'll be stubborn, perhaps allowing you to get well out on them before releasing.  Remember, Friday's strong wind came from the southwest, so most of these buried drifts are hiding on north and east facing slopes and at high elevations.

Bottom Line:

Today there's generally a  MODERATE avalanche danger in the backcountry. Avalanches are possible on some slopes steeper than about 35 degrees with substantial deposits of recently wind-drifted snow.  Be especially wary on steep upper elevation east through north facing slopes with now buried wind-drifts, and watch for freshly forming drifts as northerly winds increase for a few hours this morning.  There's a LOW danger in sheltered terrain and on lower and mid-elevation slopes.

Mountain Weather:

Any lingering clouds and snow showers will move out of the area by early afternoon, pushed out by a short-lived dry ridge of high pressure.  But, the National Weather Service in SLC has issued a Winter Storm Watch for late tonight through Wednesday morning.  Clouds will stream into the region overnight, and light snowfall will probably develop before dawn on Tuesday.  Snowfall will intensify under a westerly flow Tuesday night and into Wednesday, this time favoring the Bear River Range and the mountains near the Idaho state-line.

General Information: 

 For a list of our upcoming classes and awareness talks, go to our Education page . For a list of recent avalanches in  the regional backcountry go to Avalanche List.  Snow nerds, check out the new Snow Profiles page.  You may enjoy our Images Page.

Please send backcountry observations to [email protected] or leave a message at 755-3638, especially if you see or trigger an avalanche in the backcountry. We really want to hear from you, even if you think your observation is unimportant.    The information you provide may save lives...

This advisory will expire Tuesday morning.  Dave will update it on Tuesday night.

The information in this advisory is from the U.S. Forest Service, which is solely responsible for its content.  This advisory describes general avalanche conditions and local variations always occur. 


National Weather Service - Salt Lake City - Snow.