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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

We've issued an Avalanche Warning for the backcountry in all the Mountains of northern Utah. STRONG SOUTHWEST WINDS COMBINED WITH NEW SNOWFALL EXPECTED DURING THE DAY TODAY WILL CAUSE DANGEROUS AVALANCHE CONDITIONS IN THE BACKCOUNTRY.

Tuesday February 27, 2007:

 Hello and good morning, this is Toby Weed of the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your Logan Area backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Itís Tuesday February 27th, and itís 7:15 in the morning.  This advisory is brought to you in part by the Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center in Logan with help from Import Auto.

Bottom Line:

 Heavy snowfall and strong southwest winds this morning have caused a HIGH avalanche danger in the backcountry.  Natural and human triggered avalanches are likely on any slope steeper than about 30 degrees with significant deposits of new or drifted snow.  Avalanches could step down into existing buried persistent weak layers and be large and destructive.  We should continue to avoid and stay out from under steep slopes in avalanche terrain.

Mountain Weather:

The National Weather Service issued a Winter Storm Warning until 4:00 pm for the mountains in Northern Utah, and it is dumping in the region this morning.  1 to 2 feet of total new snow are possible at upper elevations by tonight.  Accompanying strong southwest winds today will give way to a diminishing northwesterly breeze by evening.  A bit of a break tomorrow before another round of storminess will bring more snow to the region on Thursday.

Current Conditions:   

Expect deep powder snow conditions, with poor visibility, strong wind and high precipitation rates this morning.  Given fairly warm temperatures, todayís snowfall could be heavy and a bit inverted or upside-down, which can make for difficult trail-breaking and dangerous avalanche conditions.  With a significant new load of snow piling-up right now on slopes plagued by widespread very weak sugary snow or depth hoar, we should continue to stick to lower angled terrain and steer clear of steep slopes and obvious avalanche paths.   As snowfall intensifies in the mountains, it is 24 degrees at Tony Grove.

Avalanche Conditions:

Nobody reported any significant avalanches in the past couple days in the Logan Area, but dangerous avalanches continue to occur in neighboring mountains. Weíll have more to worry about than wind drifts today. Rapidly occurring heavy snowfall and accompanying strong southwest winds will load a ton of snow over entire slopes, many plagued by especially weak buried snow   Triggered and natural slab avalanches are most probable on northwest through east facing slopes above about 8000'.  But today, as substantial new snow piles up on lower elevation slopes with existing very weak basal snow, avalanches will become increasingly possible at lower elevations as well.   Overrunning new snow avalanches or human triggers may initiate dangerous slab avalanches releasing on deeply buried persistent weak layers. (photos).     Many slopes have now reached a critical balance, (only needing a trigger to avalanche); while far too many others have not quite yet.  Heavy snowfall today could be enough to push another batch of these over the edge, and significant natural avalanches could result.  A few large natural avalanches occurred last week in the region, (photos), and these indicate the potential for more, especially as the scales are weighted with an additional load of snow.

General Information:

For more information on this week's accidents from the Utah Avalanche Center, go to accidents

Check out photos of this week's avalanches in the Logan Area on our images page.

Go to the Avalanche Encyclopedia if you have any questions about terms I use in the advisory.  I also recommend the recently-released Media Page, which shows the forecast danger for our coverage areas across the state.

Please e-mail me at [email protected] or leave me a message at 755-3638 if you see or trigger avalanches in the backcountry.  The information you provide may save lives...

   I will update the advisory again on 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.