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

Saturday March 11, 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 Saturday March 11th 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 the folks at Import Auto, located at 502 W 1400N.

Current Conditions:

Cold temperatures kept the snow nice yesterday at upper elevations, and you'll still be able to find great powder riding and turning conditions today.  We found the smoothest  and deepest on slopes facing north and northeast.  Sadly, many fine exposed east facing powder slopes are probably now a bit damaged by a pesky and somewhat unusual southeast wind, which increased overnight and is now averaging close to 30 mph at the Campbell Scientific weather station atop Logan Peak.  It's 6 degrees at Tony Grove and 3 on Logan Peak.  Mountain high temperatures should stay in the low teens today under mostly cloudy skies, diminishing winds, and the possibility of some light snowfall.

Snow and Avalanche Conditions:

Thursday's quick-hitting storm produced a few decent sized natural new snow wind-drift avalanches, but things settled out fairly quickly and I saw no signs of instability in the new snow yesterday, even at upper elevations.  Avalanches are unlikely on most steep slopes in the region today, but you might trigger wind slab avalanches in some exposed areas.  With the overnight increase in the atypical southeasterly winds, we might find fresh and sensitive wind-drifts in some rather unexpected places.  I'll be pretty cautious on steep slopes near ridge-lines or around terrain features, and I'll be on the lookout for freshly formed drifts. There was lots of soft, transportable powder on upper elevation east facing slopes yesterday, so sizable drifts probably formed on some northeast, north and northwest facing slopes.  Most of the recent natural and human triggered avalanches in the region occurred on very steep, wind-drifted and often corniced slopes. (images page)  I expect any today will fit into that pattern. On a few isolated slopes, a sizable trigger like a cornice-fall or an overrunning new snow avalanche could cause a dangerous hard slab avalanche breaking on old buried weak layers.

With cold temperatures and cloud-cover in the forecast, I don't think we'll have much of a problem with wet avalanches this weekend.  But, the seasonally high sun angle causes sunny slopes to heat up and get sloppy very quickly.  One observer mentioned noticing small wet sluffs at lower elevations yesterday.

Bottom Line:

There's a LOW danger and avalanches are unlikely on the majority of steep slopes in the backcountry, especially in sheltered or low elevation terrain.  However, a MODERATE danger exists, and avalanches are possible on some wind-drifted slopes steeper than about 35 degrees at upper and mid-elevations.  

Mountain Weather:

We might pick up an inch or two of snow in the mountains today, and it will be mostly cloudy and cold. The winds should be fairly light tonight and out of the south.  Snowfall is likely on Sunday, and we could pick up a decent shot of pow-pow Sunday night.  Unsettled and cool weather should continue into next week.

General Information: 

If you're confused by some of our avalanche terms check out the cool new Avalanche Encyclopedia

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 will update this advisory by about 7:00 Sunday morning.

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.