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 26, 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 Sunday November 26th, 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:

Today might be a good time to dust off the goggles, break out the green hot wax,  and/or put some fresh plugs in the sled.  The National Weather Service has issued a Heavy Snow Warning for the mountains of Northern Utah, which will go into effect early Monday morning and continue through noon on Wednesday.  1 to 2 feet of snow accumulation is likely in the mountains, with more possible in some favored locations.  Strong southwesterly winds will be a factor tomorrow as pre-frontal snowfall increases and the cold front approaches.  Snow is also forecast to accumulate in the Valleys, so you might want to button things up on the home front.    Brace yourself for some seriously cold weather after that....

Current Conditions:  

Well, I'm about ready for a change.  I'm starting to get a bit weary of the scratchy old snow, and I'm looking forward to some real winter weather.  This is likely to be the last weekend you'll be able to drive a wheeled vehicle very far up the un-maintained Tony Grove Road.  If you do head up today, you'll have to search around a bit to find any soft snow. If you look hard enough between all the old tracks and wind and sun crusts, you might find a few slopes with some fast, reconstituted or re-crystallized snow in sheltered shady areas.  Under mostly clear skies early this morning, it's 17 degrees and the wind is from the west at 20 mph at the Campbell Scientific weather station atop Logan Peak.  Currently there's just under 2 feet of total snow containing 5.1 inches of water at the Tony Grove Lake Snotel site.

Avalanche Conditions:

No one's reported any avalanches in the region for two weeks, and avalanches are generally unlikely today in the backcountry.  But with a significant winter storm on our doorstep, the danger will rise drastically in the next couple days.  Cold and mostly clear atmospheric conditions in the past couple nights transformed the recent dusting of snow into small sugary grains we call near surface facets, and we've observed some frost crystals 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.  There's also a deeply buried weak layer consisting of sugary or faceted snow under a warmth crust, which formed in early November.  This layer is now 2 to 3 feet below the surface, and I won't be tremendously surprised to see some avalanches step all the way down to it with a significant new load in the next few days.

Bottom Line:

 Today there's 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.


The danger will rise to MODERATE on Monday as the storm blows in, with triggered wind slab avalanches becoming possible on exposed steep slopes. The danger is likely to rise further on Tuesday and Wednesday as more snow accumulates in the mountains.

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.

  This advisory will expire on Monday morning.  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 Tuesday evening.  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.