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 March 27, 2006

Hello, this is Dave Kikkert with the Logan area backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory from the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center.  It's Monday March 27th at 9:00 pm.  This advisory is brought to you in part by the Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center in Logan with help from Black Diamond Equipment.

Mountain Weather:

Tuesday, an approaching storm will bring winds in the 30-35 mph range from the south and southwest along with increasing clouds and warm temperatures.  Current wind speeds as of 9pm are around 30 mph on Logan Peak with temperatures in the mid-20's.  High temperatures will be near 40 degrees at 9,000' with precipitation slated to begin late Tuesday evening with 10-16'' possible by Thursday.

Current Conditions:

Storm totals from Sunday were around a foot at the upper elevations and good turning and riding can be found on upper elevation northerly slopes.  With tons of sunshine today the snow on most other slopes got quite damp.  Most slopes should get a decent refreeze tonight, however Tuesday's warm temperatures and high clouds will likely warm things up quickly.

Snow and Avalanche Conditions:

Today, I could see two natural avalanches near Tony Grove.  Both avalanches were on wind-exposed east facing slopes, they were about a foot deep, and likely formed by drifting snow from Sunday's strong northwest winds (pictures here).  While most of these wind slabs should have settled out today, the renewed southwesterly winds will whip up a fresh batch.  It feels a bit like Groundhog Day with new wind slabs forming just as the old ones settle out.  Tuesday, you will most likely find hard wind slabs near exposed ridgelines on northwest through east facing slopes as well as around the usual terrain features.  Be aware that hard slabs are tricky, often breaking out above you.  On some northerly facing slopes, drifts may form on a layer of surface hoar formed last night and could be quite sensitive.  Also, in many areas there is buried layer of surface hoar mixed with graupel that's about a foot down.  In some areas the weight of the wind-drifted snow could cause any avalanches to step down to this layer (click here for a diagram).  Tuesday, warm temperatures combined with high level clouds will cause the danger of wet avalanches to rise on steep slopes with saturated snow.  Be particularly wary of slopes that did not warm up today, such as mid-elevation shady slopes.  High winds may help keep a lid on wet-activity up high.

Bottom Line:

There's a MODERATE avalanche danger on slopes steeper than about 35 degrees with recent deposits of wind-drifted snow and on steep slopes with damp new snow.  With stronger than expected winds, or if snowfall begins earlier than expected the danger could rise or become more widespread.

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...

Toby Weed will update this advisory Tuesday evening.

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.