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

Sunday February 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 Sunday February 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 Backcountry Access Inc.

Current Conditions:

The National Weather Service in Salt Lake City is continuing a Snow Advisory for the region through 6:00 this evening.  An additional 6 to 10 inches of light powder could fall in the mountains today.  You'll find good powder conditions on lots of slopes in the backcountry, but you may have issues with visibility. The snow from mid-week is so soft and light in non-wind-affected terrain that you are still feeling the variable underlying snow surface, which ranges from solid and supportable sun and wind-crusts to bottomless feeling re-crystallized sugar snow.   I've found the best conditions on mid-elevation north and northeast facing slopes. Yesterday, sustained southerly winds recorded 25-30 mph hourly averages at the Campbell Scientific weather station on Logan Peak, and temperatures topped-out at just under 11 degrees.  The Snotel site at Tony Grove reports 0.5 inches of water contained in about 8 inches of light snow over the past 24 hours and it's 7 degrees at 5:00 am.

Snow and Avalanche Conditions:

 Yesterday's sustained southerly winds formed numerous sensitive drifts in exposed terrain, especially near ridge-tops, and backcountry travelers unintentionally triggered a couple small wind slab avalanches in the region.  Although the winds shifted around from the west and diminished into the teens overnight, they are still an important concern today.  The very cold temperatures are keeping even Wednesday's snow soft and light, and along with yesterday's few inches of super-light powder, there's plenty of transportable snow on the ground.  On many slopes, wind-drifts formed right on top of a substantial weak layer made up of sugary or faceted snow, which was on the surface before Wednesday's storm.  This could mean that some wind slabs will continue to be sensitive to your weight today and in the near future.  Watch out for stiff wind-loaded snow on any slopes steeper than about 35 degrees. You are most likely to find these drifts on upper elevation slopes facing northwest through east, but a few also formed at lower and mid-elevations in fetch areas or on sub-ridges near canyon bottoms.  Yesterday, I easily triggered loose snow avalanches or sluffs including Wednesday's snow on steep slopes, and you are likely to find the same today. 

Bottom Line:

There's a MODERATE danger and avalanches are possible on wind-drifted slopes steeper than about 35 degrees in the backcountry.  With more wind and/or heavier snowfall than forecast, the danger might rise to CONSIDERABLE in some areas later today.  If so, you could trigger avalanches on lots of steep wind-drifted slopes and some natural avalanches might occur.

Mountain Weather:

  The weakening low pressure system will move inland over the Great Basin today, where it will remain through tomorrow.  This will bring snowfall throughout the day today to the northern mountains, but most of the continuing action tonight will be well to our south.  A ridge builds in on Monday,  but we'll still be under a northwesterly flow aloft for much of the upcoming week, with only gradually rising temperatures and periods of snow likely.  A small storm is possible on Tuesday and a larger one on about Thursday

General Information: 

For a list of recent avalanches in  the regional backcountry go to Avalanche List.  Snow nerds, check out the new Snow Profiles page.  Check out our Images Page for pictures of recent local avalanches.

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...

 Dave Kikkert will update this advisory on Monday morning by about 7:00.

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.