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

Saturday March 24, 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.  It’s Saturday March 24th 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 help from Simmons Flexi-ski of Providence.

Current Conditions:

 Mountain temperatures at many sites hovered just above freezing overnight, with the coldest air trapped in the valleys and sinks.  Clear skies allowed radiation cooling, and the snow surface will be nicely refrozen this morning.  Yesterday we found some of the smoothest and most perfect spring corn snow conditions I’ve experienced in years, and solid snow made it possible to ride practically anywhere.  It will be mostly sunny today, with light and variable winds and high temperatures in the upper 40’s.

 Hot tip of the day: It might be worth your while to walk on dry ground or bushwhack a little to get to smooth avalanche debris in paths which naturally avalanched near the end of February.  In spring snow conditions, runout gullies can offer direct access to high elevation slopes…..Get an early start so you can be heading back to the yard-work or basketball by Midday.

Avalanche Conditions:

Cooler weather in the past couple days and decent nightly refreezes have helped to keep wet avalanche activity in check.  No significant avalanches have been observed or reported over the past few days in the region.

With avalanches generally unlikely this morning, you can probably get away with crossing or passing underneath steep slopes.  But you’ll want to continue to follow strict safe travel protocols, with only one person exposed at a time, and you need to know when to leave--when the snow starts to soften to the point that you begin to sink into it. Our biggest concern continues to be potentially large wet avalanches.  All but the most northerly facing slopes are plagued by now-moistened depth hoar and an overlying slab. Dangerously large wet slab avalanches are still possible on a few steep slopes in the region, and they are most probable after slopes are softened by prolonged solar heating.  You should stay out from under any obvious glide cracks, which have opened up on some sunny slopes in the past couple days.

Bottom Line:

This morning there’s a LOW danger, and avalanches are generally unlikely on most slopes.  The danger will rise to MODERATE by mid-morning on some saturated and melt-softened slopes steeper than about 35 degrees.  Human triggered wet avalanches are possible, especially on sun-exposed slopes in the heat of midday.  Get an early start so you can be heading home early, before the snow gets soft and sloppy.  You will need to use good snow assessment and safe travel techniques to minimize risks.

 Mountain Weather:

Fair conditions will rule the weather pattern through today.  Mountain temperatures and will be approaching 50 degrees under mostly sunny skies.  Temperatures in the mountains should hover around freezing again tonight.  A southwesterly flow will develop on Sunday with increasing clouds and prefrontal winds.  Several inches of accumulation are possible in the mountains on Monday morning.  A more significant storm will impact the region on Tuesday and we’ll get another taste of winter, with a foot or more possible and much cooler temperatures.

General Information:

Check out photos of 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 this advisory on Sunday morning.

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.