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Utah Avalanche Center in Logan

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 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

Special Update

Thursday February 8, 2007:

  Hello, this is Toby Weed of the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your Logan Area backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Itís Thursday February 8th, and itís 7:30 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:

  The Tony Grove Snotel reported about 2 inches overnight, with snowfall continuing at upper elevations and rain lower.  Southwest and west winds strengthened for a time overnight, with hourly averages up in the mid twenties and gusts of around 40 mph on Logan Peak.  Snow conditions are incredibly varied across the region, with a thin sun-crust capping very weak sugary snow throughout the snowpack in mid and lower elevations and slick bomb-proof crust sandwiches on many exposed upper elevation slopes.  You can easily get mired down and trail breaking is tedious in moist unconsolidated sugary snow down low.

Avalanche Conditions:

  The big news in the Central Wasatch is yesterday's midday natural release of a large hard slab avalanche near Park City.  This, occurring in the heat of yesterday but several days after Friday and Saturday's windy snowstorm is enough for me to give pause and scratch my head for a bit.  Wind slab avalanches were not nearly as much of an issue in the Logan Area as they were in the Central Wasatch over the weekend, but I don't much like the warm temperatures.   With all the weak snow I'm seeing out there,  I shudder at the thought that a slab layer may be beginning to form.  With light snowfall accompanied by moderate southwest winds continuing in the mountains, triggered new snow avalanches will be increasingly possible on drifted slopes steeper than about 35 degrees.  Also, with a warm rain at lower elevations, you're likely to trigger significant moist point-release avalanches or sluffs on some steep mid and lower elevation slopes.  The shallow snow in these areas has completely rotted out, and on a steep slope it won't take much at all to get all the unconsolidated moist sugary gains to start moving downhill.

Bottom Line:

Some new snow and southwesterly ridge top winds will cause a MODERATE danger on Thursday, with triggered wind slab avalanches and perhaps a few old hard slab avalanches possible on drifted slopes steeper than about 35 degrees.  You could also trigger sizeable moist sluffs in unconsolidated sugary snow on steep mid and lower elevation slopes.

Mountain Weather:

The big news is a change in the weather pattern that's kept us high and dry for a solid month.  We can say good-by to the high pressure and the stagnate air for a while as a moist southwesterly flow takes over and will continue through the weekend.  This will bring increasing moisture and a bit more snow to the mountains of Northern Utah.

General Information:

   I will update this advisory again on Thursday night.

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.

Thursd