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


7:30, Saturday March 15, 2008

Hello and good morning, this is Toby Weed of the Utah Avalanche Center with your Logan Area backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.  It’s Saturday March 15th, at 7:30 in the morning.  Today’s advisory is brought to you in part by the Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center in Logan with help from Beaver Mountain.

Current Conditions:  A couple inches of new snow fell overnight across the region, and it looks like we’ll see a bit more today.  Upper elevations picked up a decent shot of snow, and the storm total up at the Tony Grove Snotel reads an even one inch of water equivalent gain in the last 48 hours.  Much of that came with gusty westerly winds on Thursday, and extensive drifting occurred in exposed terrain.   I found fun and smooth, not-so-dust-on-crust conditions yesterday afternoon at mid elevations.  I was quite impressed by the powerful heating produced by short windows of sunshine between the clouds.  Its 13 degrees at 9400’ and it looks like the wind sensor at the CSI weather station is rimed-up, so local winds are unknown.  They’re from the southwest and light to moderate on Mount Ogden. 

  Avalanche Conditions: 

Beware the Ides of March, which is today…..Especially if your name is Julius Caesar or if you plan to play on steep upper elevation slopes in the backcountry.   ‘T was an active day in the Central Wasatch Range Backcountry yesterday with several sizable triggered and natural avalanches reported, including a couple with people taking unexpected rides. (Wasatch Advisory) It looks like the new snow from the last couple days wasn’t sticking so well to various old snow surfaces.  Soft slab avalanches occurred on slopes where significant drifted new snow was deposited. 

After a few recent weekends with a relatively low avalanche danger in the local backcountry, I’m concerned that you might be fooled into a false sense of confidence. Don’t be betrayed by the somewhat shallow but heavy drifted new snow; you may find small avalanches entraining lots of mass.  Many avalanche slide paths in the area are well filled-in and smooth, so even relatively small avalanches might run fast and far.

Triggered soft and stiffer wind slab avalanches and sizable dry sluffs will again be likely today on steep upper elevation slopes with significant deposits of new snow.  The danger of wind slabs will be greatest on drifted slopes in exposed upper elevation terrain and on slopes facing northwest through southeast.

Bottom Line: 

Generally, there’s a MODERATE danger in the backcountry and triggered new snow or wind slab avalanches are possible on slopes steeper than about 35 degrees.   There are areas in exposed upper elevation terrain with a CONSIDERABLE danger on steep slopes with significant deposits of drifted snow. Increasing and shifting winds overnight may cause the danger of wind slab avalanches to increase and become more widespread.

Mountain Weather: The National Weather Service has issued a Snow and Blowing Snow Advisory for the northern mountains as a Pacific trough moves through the state.  A few inches of snow are likely to accumulate, but winds will increase and shift direction overnight likely causing considerable drifting.  A high pressure system will build into the region for the coming week.

General Announcements: 

Check out the images page for photos of some of this season’s 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.