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Logan area Avalanche Advisory

7:30, Sunday March 2, 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 Sunday March 2nd, 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 Voile USA.

Current Conditions: You should find good, if somewhat shallow, fresh powder conditions across the region.The Central Bear River Range did pretty well, with Snotel sites at Tony Grove and Franklin Basin reporting a little under a foot of fairly light snow. As the storm came in the middle of the day while it was quite warm, the fresh snow fell on a well-warmed, moist, and softened old snow surface. Temperatures plummeted with clearing after the storm passed, and Iím now reading 13 degrees at Tony Grove and 5 on Logan Peak.The winds diminished since yesterday morning, but theyíre still plenty strong enough to cause significant drifting of the light snow at high elevations. The CSI weather station on Logan Peak reports a north wind averaging in the teens but gusting into the mid-thirty mph range.

Avalanche Conditions:††

A few shallow natural and triggered new snow avalanches were reported in the Central Wasatch Range during yesterday eveningís storm.A few may have also occurred in the Logan Area, but none have been reported yet.I expect that warmth and wind destroyed most of the existing potential surface weaknesses before they were buried.But there may still be a few areas where frost crystals or surface hoar survived on shady and sheltered mid and upper elevation slopes, and this could be a nice weak layer for todayís wind slabs to ride on.

Somewhat strong west winds accompanied snowfall yesterday afternoon, and north winds overnight and this morning were and are plenty strong enough to drift significant quantities of the light fresh snow into ridge-top and upper elevation avalanche starting zones.The moderate winds are perfect for building cornices and depositing sensitive slabs below them on lee slopes. You should watch for and avoid large cornices and obvious drifts or wind slabs on steep slopes.Possible clues include smooth, chalky looking or stiffer feeling snow, hollow drum-like sounds, or shooting cracks.

†† Bottom Line:Overall thereís a MODERATE danger in the backcountry, and triggered wind slab avalanches consisting of new snow are possible on slopes steeper than about 35 degrees, especially in exposed upper elevation terrain. Pockets with a CONSIDERABLE danger may exist in fetch areas near ridge-tops and on a few upper elevation lee slopes with significant deposits of wind-drifted snow.Use good snow assessment and safe travel techniques and avoid steep drifted slopes in the backcountry today.

Mountain Weather: Weíll perhaps see a few clouds and snow showers in the mountains today, but the sun will also be out as a ridge of high pressure builds over the region.Temperatures should stay pretty cold today, but itíll warm up with fair weather conditions and south winds tomorrow in advance of the next storm system, which will affect the region from Monday night into Wednesday.

General Announcements:

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.