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Logan area Avalanche advisory

Sunday April 2, 2006

Good morning, this is Dave Kikkert with the Logan area backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory from the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center.  It's Sunday April 2nd 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 Import Auto.

Current Conditions:

Yesterday's quick hitting storm left about 5-6" of new snow at the upper elevations.  Currently, temperatures are around 20 at 8,000' and 13 on Logan Peak with winds from the northwest around 15 mph.  It'll be a stellar morning with lots of sunshine and good turning and riding on upper elevation shady slopes.   The new snow will likely get wet and gloppy on sun-exposed slopes and possibly mid-elevation shady slopes.

Snow and Avalanche Conditions:

Yesterday's new snow fell during a period of generally light wind; however there were a few hours last night with winds around 20 mph from the west-northwest.  As a result, you may be able to find a few fresh wind-drifts, however I would expect them to be quite shallow and manageable.  Sluffing of the new snow may be more common, with some sluffs being a bit larger than you might expect.  Perhaps the biggest impact of the new snow will be that it covered up the wind slabs formed Friday, making them difficult to recognize.  While most of these old wind-slabs should have settled out, I would still be cautious along the most exposed ridges were slabs would be thicker and more sensitive.  In some areas the weight of a new snow avalanche or a large cornice fall could be sufficient to trigger an avalanche on buried weak layers, as has been the case in the Wellsville's.  Outside of wind-affected terrain the snowpack seems pretty stable.  The spring sun will be out in force today and the new snow will likely get soggy quickly, causing the danger of wet-avalanches to rise on any steep slope with saturated snow.  If you start seeing roller balls or begin sinking in mush it's time to head for home or a different aspect.

Increasing southwest winds tonight and Monday will lead to increased drifting of the new snow, forming fresh wind slabs on and around wind-exposed terrain.

Bottom Line:

There's a MODERATE avalanche danger on upper elevation wind-drifted slopes facing northwest through east and steeper than about 35 degrees.  In wind-sheltered terrain the avalanche danger is generally LOW.  With daytime heating the danger of wet-avalanches will rise to MODERATE on steep slopes with saturated snow. 

Mountain Weather:

High pressure will be over the area today with mostly clear skies.  Temperatures will be right around freezing at 9,000' and in the mid-30's at 8,000'.  High thin clouds will stream into the area by late afternoon as southwest flow increases ahead of a promising storm system slated to arrive Tuesday.  Monday should be mostly cloudy with increasingly strong winds from the southwest.

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...

This advisory expires by tomorrow morning.  I will update it again Monday 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.