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

Wednesday March 28, 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 Wednesday March 28th and itís 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 Backcountry Access.

Current Conditions:

I had my hopes up for a big dump, but it looks like we got gypped againÖ.Tony Grove Snotel picked up around 6 inches of new snow in the last 24 hrs containing a little more than a half inch of water, which is on par with other sites across the region.   The National Weather Service still has the Northern Utah Mountains under a Winter Storm Warning through early Thursday morning, and favored upper elevation areas could pick up 4 to 8 additional inches today.  With luck, realistic storm totals might reach a foot in some upper elevation areas.  A northwest wind in the 20 mph range is forecast.  At least overnight temperatures dropped below freezing, and itís currently 28 degrees at 8500í.

Avalanche Conditions:

 No significant avalanches have been observed or reported in the region recently. 

Moderate northwesterly winds accompanying periods of heavy snowfall today will be strong enough to build drifts in lee slope starting zones and around wind breaks and terrain features.  Fresh wind slab avalanches up to a foot or so deep are possible on drifted slopes steeper than about 35 degrees, and the danger of will be on the rise today.  Strong winds are possible in exposed upper elevation terrain, and with periods of heavy snow likely during the day, drifting will be more widespread and potential wind slabs more significant.  As usual you should avoid any fresh or building drifts on steep slopes.

Loose dry snow avalanches or sluffs are possible on steep slopes in more sheltered terrain.    Not much of a problem with less than a foot of new snow, but could cause problems in gullies or other abrupt terrain traps.  As soon as the seasonally high angled sun comes out for any length of time, (most likely on Thursday), the surface snow will quickly become saturated and significant loose wet avalanches consisting of the new snow will become likely on steep sunny slopes.

Bottom Line:

Thereís a MODERATE danger in the backcountry, and human triggered wind slab and loose snow avalanches are possible on slopes steeper than about 35 degrees.  You are most likely to trigger wind slabs at upper elevations near ridge lines and on slopes facing northeast through south, but any steep drifted slope is suspect. Youíll want to assess snow conditions while following safe backcountry travel protocols to minimize your risk.

 Mountain Weather:

Wrap-around from the slow moving storm will hopefully bring periods of heavy snowfall to the region under a northwesterly flow throughout the day on Wednesday.  4 to 8 additional inches are possible.  Expect clearing conditions and gradually rising temperatures on Thursday, and a gradual warm-up as a high pressure system rebuilds over the region for the weekend.

          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...

This advisory will expire on Thursday morning. I will update it 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.