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

Special Update

Thursday January 19, 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 Thursday January 19th 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 Voile.

Current Conditions:

After receiving more than our share of the "Greatest Snow On Earth" yesterday morning, today we'll find deep new snow conditions in the backcountry.  After a productive start and a quick couple feet of snowfall, the westerly winds shifted from the north and died down around midday. The storm's been pretty benign in the Logan region since then.  Yesterday, I found difficult trail-breaking conditions in the light but inverted new snow. I trudged through knee-deep snow forever and could not seem to gain much ground.  Before I knew it I had run out of time, and I did not make it up to high elevations.

Avalanche Conditions:

The Snotel site at Tony Grove took the state's high-reading honors yesterday with around two feet of snow accumulation containing 2.2 inches of water.  Early yesterday morning, during the several hour period of heavy snowfall, the westerly winds at the Campbell Scientific weather station on Logan Peak showed a steady average of 25-30 mph.  The new snow fell on a few inches cold light snow from Sunday, which capped a variety of sun and wind crusts formed last week.  In some cases, the new snow buried frost crystals or surface hoar and small sugary grains formed near the surface.  Even at lower elevations yesterday I found signs of instability in the new snow, like cracking and collapsing.  I easily triggered small slabs on test slopes.  I suspect that natural avalanches may have occurred on some slopes in the region yesterday afternoon, so keep an eye out for and report any fresh avalanche activity.  Remember, recent avalanche activity is sure sign of instability.  Usually we will see fairly rapid stabilization of new snow instabilities after snowfall subsides, and I expect the danger to be dropping from yesterday's peak.  But, you could probably still trigger avalanches on lots of steep slopes in the backcountry today.  You'll find the most danger on wind-loaded slopes steeper than 35 degrees facing the eastern half of the compass.   Avalanches are possible today on any steep slope with more than a foot of new snow.

Bottom Line:

Today there's a CONSIDERABLE avalanche danger in the backcountry.  Avalanches are possible on many slopes steeper than about 35 degrees with substantial deposits of wind-drifted or deep new snow.  Avalanches are probable on steep upper elevation slopes facing north through southeast.  In sheltered terrain and at mid and lower elevations the danger is MODERATE, and avalanches are possible.

Mountain Weather:

It will be cloudy today with some lingering snow showers, but not much additional accumulation is expected in our region.  Most storminess will move out of the area by this evening and a ridge will move in for Friday.  The next storm will impact the area on Saturday, but it looks like it will split, so only a little light snow is expected.

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...

  I will update this advisory tonight.

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.