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Logan area Avalanche Advisory

7:30, Monday March 10, 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 March 10th, 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 the Trailhead.

Current Conditions: Should be another fine weather day in the mountains with a lot of sunshine, light winds, and significantly warmer conditions.8000í temperatures should rise into the mid forties.Youíll find a few inches of powder from Saturdayís small storm covering a wide variety of underlying old snow surfaces, some quite supportable and others soft and forgiving.You can ride just about anywhere, but after a busy weekend youíll have to work it a bit to find untracked areas.Its currently 24 degrees at Temple Fork and 15 at the CSI Logan Peak weather station with a northwest breeze averaging around 10 mph.The Tony Grove Snotel reports 92 inches of total snow on the ground containing 103% of average water for the date.

Avalanche Conditions:Weekend reports from the Central Wasatch backcountry include a few triggered very shallow ridge top wind slabs and a couple wet sluffs at lower elevations. Locally, no activity has been reported since Friday when of a handful of small and manageable triggered wind slab avalanches occurred at upper elevations in the Central Bear River Range.And, I noticed a couple new wet sluffs yesterday on very steep low elevation slopes above the Logan River at Temple Fork. Although now unlikely, there may still be some potential for triggering an isolated persistent slab on a few very steep, tucked away slopes.

As midday temperatures climb to new highs in the mountains today, our biggest concern will be wet avalanches on steep slopes with saturated snow. I expect to see a more widespread danger of wet activity on sunny slopes at all elevations, with the heat magnified by reflection in concave bowls like solar ovens.We may also see potential problems on shady lower elevation slopes, many of which are still holding a good deal of snow.Fishermen and pedestrians along the Logan River should keep an eye on whatís hanging above, and we should avoid and stay out from under steep slopes with saturated snow.Remember, snow conditions may change during the day, sometimes making the exit from backcountry objectives much more dangerous than the approach.

Bottom Line:Thereís a LOW danger this morning with significant isolated wind slab avalanches at mid and upper elevations unlikely but not impossible.Warming today will cause the danger of wet avalanches to rise to MODERATE on steep slopes with saturated snow.In the heat of the day, you may find saturated snow conditions conducive to avalanching on sunny slopes at all elevations as well as on some shadier lower elevation slopes.Use good snow assessment and safe travel techniques to minimize the risk and stay clear of steep slopes with saturated snow.

 

Mountain Weather: A high pressure system across the region will give way to a weak Pacific storm late tomorrow.Mountain temperatures will peak today with mid-forties expected at 8000í.Tomorrow, increasing clouds ahead of a very weak looking storm may keep a lid on the heating or cause greenhousing.We only expect an inch or two of snowfall late tomorrow and tomorrow night, but a series of increasingly cold storms are expected to affect the region beginning on Wednesday and continuing into next weekend.

General Announcements:

The Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center in Logan is presenting an Avalanche Fundamentals, Level 1 Class (Certification), starting March 14, with field sessions on the 15th, and 22nd.Please register in advance with the Friends via e-mail or 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.