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Logan area Avalanche Advisory

7:30, Monday February 25, 2008

Hello and good morning, this is Toby Weed of the Utah Avalanche Center with your Logan Area backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  Itís Monday February 25th, at 7:30 in the morning.This advisory is brought to you in part by the Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center in Logan with help from EK USA.

Current Conditions: Winds diminished yesterday as they switched around from the northwest and snowfall ended for a time yesterday evening. Snowfall will continue today, but there is also likely to be a break in the action and even a little clearing and afternoon sunshine is possible. The CSI weather station on Logan Peak reports a northwest breeze, with hourly averages less than 10 mph.The Tony Grove Snotel picked up 1.4 inches of water in the last 24 hours, and the Beaver Mountain remote depth sensor shows a bit more than 10 new inches.

Avalanche Conditions:†† It was another active day in the Central Wasatch yesterday with easily triggered soft slab avalanches reported from Ogden Area ski areas and cracking and collapsing noted in the Backcountry. We also have reports of a low elevation wet avalanche in Ogden Canyon. I noticed some wet activity at lower elevations in Logan Canyon and a few sizable and long-running dry sluffs in Beaver Canyon yesterday evening.

Although I suspect that heating on Saturday destroyed the frost crystals and sugary snow on many slopes especially at lower elevations, light snow fell with little or no wind earlier in the weekend, and in some areas it now may be nicely preserving weak layers that formed on or near the snow surface during the recent high pressure. (snow photos)

If the sun peaks out from the clouds, greenhousing could quickly warm already saturated snow on mid and lower elevation slopes.Wet avalanches will become likely today on many slopes if the surface snow is further warmed.Watch for roller balling and other wet activity on similar slopes, and leave if the snow on the slope youíre on gets sloppy.Remember that wet snow conditions can deteriorate rapidly during the day, often making the exit from upper elevations in the backcountry more dangerous than the entrance.

High winds and heavy snowfall yesterday formed slabs in avalanche starting zones, especially in upper elevation exposed terrain.On some slopes, even non-drifted heavy new snow may not adhere well to underlying crusts or sugary old snow. Stiffer wind slab, new snow soft slab avalanches, and wet and dry point-release avalanches are likely to pick up steam and could run fast and far today on existing hard or crusted bed surfaces, especially on big slopes.So, youíll want to avoid travel below steep slopes and stay clear of gullies which might collect and funnel long-running avalanches.

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†† Bottom Line:Thereís a CONSIDERABLE danger in the backcountry, and triggered wind slab or storm snow avalanches are possible on many steep upper elevation slopes with significant deposits of wind-blown or heavy new snow. Solar warming today could also cause a CONSIDERABLE danger of wet avalanches at lower and mid elevation on steep slopes with saturated snow.Even relatively small new snow avalanches are likely to pick up steam and run far and fast, especially on big slopes.Use elevated caution in avalanche terrain and avoid travel on or below steep slopes in the backcountry.

Mountain Weather: The National Weather Service has continued a Winter Storm Warning for the mountains around Logan through11:00 tonight. We should see snowfall continuing this morning and resuming again this evening, with 5 to 7 more inches of accumulation possible. A high pressure will control the weather for much of next week, with a chance for something small on Thursday and another actual storm possible next weekend.

General Announcements:

Upcoming avalanche class: February 29th-March 1st, Avalanche Basics, USU Outdoor Recreation Center, Friday February 29th, 6:30p, Field Session Saturday March 1st, 9:00a.  ($35, Please register in advance with the ORC.)  For more information contact [email protected].

Check out the images page for photos of some of this seasonís avalanches.

Go to the Avalanche Encyclopedia if you have any questions about terms I use in the advisory.

I'm very interested to know what you're seeing out there.  Please e-mail observations to me at [email protected] or leave me a message at 755-3638, especially if you see or trigger an avalanche in the backcountry. We keep all observations confidential.

This advisory will expire in 24 hours from the posting time.

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.