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

 November 25, 2006

Hello and good morning, this is Toby Weed of the Utah Avalanche Center in Logan with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  It's Saturday November 25th, and it's 7:00 in the morning.  This advisory is brought to you in part by the Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center in Logan with the loyal help of the folks at Import Auto, our trailhead access specialists. 

Mountain Weather:

Well, the big news is an approaching storm, which should bring a decent shot of snow and cold air to the region in the early part of next week. Significant accumulation is expected in the mountains by Tuesday night.  We'll see southerly winds pick up during the day tomorrow and clouds will start to stream in ahead of the storm.  Snowfall could start late Sunday night and continue through Monday.  Frontal passage Monday afternoon will intensify the storm, with cold air moving into the region insuring accumulation down to the valley floors.  At this point, a foot or two of accumulation at upper elevations by Tuesday evening is our best guess.

Current Conditions:

Under mostly cloudy skies early this morning, it's 19 degrees and a 20 mph southwest wind is steadily turning the anemometer at the Campbell Scientific weather station atop Logan Peak.  Mountaintop temperatures could reach the mid twenties today, and it'll be cloudy with a flake or two of snow possible.  There's just under 2 feet of total snow containing 5 inches of water at the Tony Grove Lake Snotel site.   A couple inches fell on Thanksgiving, just enough to soften a highly variable and tracked up old snow surface and put a concealing dusting on the rocks.  You can still find some pockets of soft snow on sheltered shady slopes, with dust on sun and wind crusts elsewhere.

Avalanche Conditions:

No one's reported any avalanches in the region for close to two weeks, and avalanches are generally unlikely at this time in the backcountry.  This will change drastically next week, with a significant winter storm bearing down on us.  This weekend will be a good time to get a look at surface snow conditions, since in many cases these will become the weak layer for next week's avalanches.  Cold and mostly clear atmospheric conditions in the past couple nights will have transformed the recent dusting of snow into small sugary grains we call near surface facets, and we've observed some frost or surface hoar development.  When buried by the incoming storm, the current dust-on-crust will be the perfect weakness between a slab of newly deposited snow and the solid wind and sun basted old snow surface.  I've also been monitoring a deeply buried weak layer consisting of faceted snow capped by a warmth crust, which formed in early November.  A stout slab, 2-3 feet thick, comprised of our copious mid-month snowfall now sits on top of this, and I won't be tremendously surprised to see some avalanches step all the way down to this layer with a significant new load next week.

Bottom Line:

  There's currently a LOW  avalanche danger in the Logan Area Backcountry, and avalanches are generally unlikely.  You might find possible exceptions at upper elevations on steep slopes facing the northern quadrant of the compass.

General Information:

Click here for information on this season's upcoming fundraiser. 

 I will give a free Avalanche Awareness Talk, open to all and sponsored by the USU Free-riders club, at The Directive on 100 East in Logan on Wednesday, December 6th at 6:30.  Also, the USU Outdoor Recreation Center Basic Avalanche class begins on Thursday, December 7th, so be sure to sign up in advance for that.

I'm back in the office now, and I'll start producing regular advisories this weekend.   I'll be updating my advisories on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and weekend mornings by about 7:00.  You should look for my next scheduled advisory tomorrow  morning.  Logan Area advisories will be accessible through the new statewide toll-free avalanche info line; 1-888-999-4019.

If you're confused by some of our avalanche terms check out the cool new Avalanche Encyclopedia.  Please  send backcountry observations to [email protected] or leave us a message at 755-3638, especially if you see or trigger an avalanche in the backcountry.

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.