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Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Forecaster:   Kevin Wright  
Thursday, April 24th 2014
Created: Apr 24th 6:42 am
1 Low Above Treeline
Travel Advice: Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features. Likelihood of Avalanches: Natural and human-triggered avalanches unlikely. Avalanche Size & Distribution: Small avalanches in isolated areas or extreme terrain.
1 Low Below Treeline
Travel Advice: Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features. Likelihood of Avalanches: Natural and human-triggered avalanches unlikely. Avalanche Size & Distribution: Small avalanches in isolated areas or extreme terrain.
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Special Announcement
  • Turnagain Pass is now CLOSED to motorized use due to low snow cover.  Snug Harbor road is the only area in Chugach National Forest open to motorized use.

  • Mark your calendars!!  The 2014 Corn Harvest will be Saturday, April 26th at the Turnagain Pass Center Ridge parking lot. Come by for free food, games and fun!  More details HERE.
  • This is the final week of advisories.  They will be issued today through Sunday, April 27th.

The Bottom Line

Avalanche danger is generally LOW again today at all elevations.  The possible exception to this will be late in the day as the snowpack warms up and loses strength.

We have seen some wet loose avalanche activity from warm temperatures in the afternoon/evening.  These slow moving avalanches can pick up enough volume to be dangerous if you are in the wrong place at the wrong time.  


Primary Concern

The snowpack continues to melt slowly each day.  Night-time temperatures are the key right now, with below freezing temps allowing the snowpack to maintain a little bit of strength.  This strength will be lost (and avalanche danger may increase significantly) if we get nights without freezing temperatures.  For today, we don't expect a significant change from conditions over the last week.  

Wet loose avalanches have been noted in our zone recently.  The West face of Pyramid peak had a couple of lobes of wet loose snow travel the full length of the face sometime in the last 2 days.  This kind of avalanche activity is very unlikely in the morning when temperatures are colder, and increases in probability as the day gets warmer and the snow gets softer.  

Cornice fall will also become more dangerous late in the day as warming increases the possibility for spontaneous or human triggered cornices.  

The snowpack is very close to an "isothermal" state.  This is the point where all layers in the snowpack are the same temperature - 32 degrees.  Clues we monitor to gage the strength of the snowpack at this point include - natural avalanche activity, boot or ski penetration, "wetness" of the snowpack, and free water being released from the snowpack.  If these factors get significantly worse, then the backcountry could become dangerous.


Mountain Weather

With no precipitation to speak of in several days, temperature is the most significant meteorological factor.  At mid elevations, temperatures are reaching the mid 40s during the peak of the day.  Overnight we had cooling down to below freezing.

                                     Low    High
Sunburst (3,812’)           25       34.9
Seattle (2,400’)              27.4     34.5
Center Ridge (1,880')     28.9     48.7 

Our recent stretch of sunny and warm days looks to be coming to a close today.  Clouds will be moving in this afternoon with a chance of rain over the next few days.  Wind will increase tonight, with a Southeast flow to 16-25mph at the ridgetops.  

 

This is a general backcountry avalanche advisory issued for Turnagain Arm with Turnagain Pass as the core advisory area (this advisory does not apply to highways, railroads, or operating ski areas).

Winter snowmachine use open/closed status and riding conditions updates

Riding status is not associated with avalanche danger. An area will be open to motorized use in accordance to the Forest Management Plan when snow coverage is adequate to protect underlying vegetation. Backcountry hazards including avalanche hazard are always present regardless of the open status of motorized use areas.

(Updated: Apr 22, 2014 )

AREA STATUS WEATHER AND RIDING CONDITIONS
Glacier District
Johnson Pass: Closed
Placer River: Closed
Skookum Drainage: Closed
Turnagain Pass: ClosedClosed as of April 23rd.
Twentymile: Closed
Seward District
Carter Lake: Closed
Lost Lake Trail: Closed
Primrose Trail: Closed
Resurrection Pass Trail: Closed
Snug Harbor: OpenPlease stay on existing road (and snow) bed to gain access into Lost Lake.
South Fork Snow River Corridor: Closed
Summit Lake: Closed

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. This advisory provided by the Chugach National Forest, in partnership with Friends of the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center.


USFS SNOW AND AVALANCHE HOTLINE (907) 754-2369
If you have comments regarding CNFAIC operations or winter recreation managment, please email kevin@chugachavalanche.org
© 2014 Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center. All rights reserved.
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