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.


       The Utah Avalanche Center Home page is: http://www.avalanche.org/~uac/

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Logan area Avalanche statement

Saturday April 7, 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 April 7th 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.

Due to lack of snow in the backcountry we’ve discontinued our regular advisories for the season. We will continue to issue avalanche statements intermittently through the month of April.

Current Conditions:

The earlier than normal spring melt-down continues, but there is a bit of hope for a significant change in the weather pattern late next week.  Overnight temperatures stayed above freezing at most mountain stations for the past several nights, but the mostly clear skies have allowed for reasonable surface refreezes.  If you get out early, you’ll be able to find good spring corn conditions on lots of slopes before it gets too soft and sloppy to be much fun.  The Tony Grove Snotel lost around an inch of water from the snowpack yesterday due to melt, and there’s around 50 inches of total snow, containing 58% of average water for the date. Overnight low temperatures stayed in the mid to upper 30s at most stations, with a chilly 28 degrees on Logan Summit and a warm 40 degree low temperature at Ben Lomond Peak. Once again, high temperatures at 9000’ will likely break into the mid 50s today.

The Franklin Basin Road is closed to wheeled vehicles due to muddy season conditions, and you must ride snowmobiles over snow and not on mud or sagebrush.  Motorized access to the backcountry is severely limited if not impossible from this and other melted-out trailheads.  You can park up on the paved, Tony Grove Road and access upper elevation snow, but expect congestion and a tight turnaround….

Avalanche Conditions:

This morning, avalanches are unlikely on most slopes in the region.  The danger of wet avalanches will rise however, as temperatures climb and the snow surface gets soft and wet on steep slopes. To avoid problems it’s best to stay out from under steep slopes warmed by daytime heating, and leave when the new snow on the slope you’re on gets sloppy or saturated.  I was a little late coming down out of the Wellsville Range on Thursday at around 1:00, and I triggered a couple small wet point release avalanches on a step gully wall at around 7500’ in elevation.  The small avalanches did not travel far to the gully floor, but they gouged down and entrained a fair amount of heavy wet snow.

Bottom Line:

We are no longer issuing danger ratings.  Avalanches are unlikely this morning, but wet avalanches will become more possible in the midday and afternoon heat on steep slopes in the backcountry.  It’s best to get an early start, and also to be done with it early.

 Mountain Weather:

Once again, it will be mostly sunny and mild in the mountains today, with temperatures in the fifties and a light west wind.  Expect increasing clouds, mild temperatures, and breezy conditions in the backcountry on Sunday.  Snow or rain showers are possible on Monday, and temperatures could drop precipitously in the Far Northern Mountains. A little bit of accumulation is likely, especially near the Idaho State Line.  This will open the door for a potentially much more significant storm, which looks like it could bring widespread snowfall to much of the state on around Wednesday night. 

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 continue to e-mail backcountry observations to me at [email protected] or leave me a message at 755-3638.  I will frequently check my messages throughout the spring.

I will update this statement as conditions change next week….

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.