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Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Forecaster:   Kevin Wright  
Thursday, November 29th 2012
Created: Nov 29th 6:33 am
2 Moderate Alpine / Above 2,500' Travel Advice: Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.
1 Low Treeline / 1,000'-2,500' Travel Advice: Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.
1 Low Below Treeline / Below 1,000' Travel Advice: Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.
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The Bottom Line

We are issuing advisories 5 days a week through November on Sat, Sun, Tue, Thur and Fri.

ANNOUNCEMENT

A reminder that all motorized use remains CLOSED due to thin snow cover.  The Forest Service will open these  areas as soon as possible when snow depth allows.  Watch for status updates at the bottom of this advisory page.

BOTTOM LINE

A thin and weak snowpack continues to dominate our avalanche discussion.  Reports of avalanche activity have dropped over the last week, but a poor snow structure still holds the possibility of causing avalanches.  Wind in the weather forecast today could form the stiffer slabs that have been mostly absent over the last week and could contribute to a rising avalanche danger.  


Primary Concern

Clear and cold weather and total lack of recent precipitation is keeping the status quo in the backcountry.  Our thin snowpack is made entirely of weak, poorly bonded crystals.  Most of the time when we talk about weak snow like this it means big avalanche problems, but for the time being we are missing the crtitical component of a stiffer, stronger, and heavier slab on top of the weaker snow.  Steeper slopes at higher elevations may still hold pockets of avalanche potential, however.  The likelihood of trashing skis on rocks is a good limiting factor to keep in mind if you get a wild hair to start exploring onto steeper slopes.  

All this clear weather is forming abundant surface hoar on top of all the faceted snow.  It's going to be game-on for dangerous avalanches when we finally get new snow on top of all this junky base.


Secondary Concern

Wind slab is not yet a problem as of this morning.  The National Weather Service is calling for increasing strong north winds across the region starting today.  

Remember, all we need is new stiffer snow on top of our current snowpack to complete the avalanche recipe.  Strong wind could be enough to build pockets of avalanche potential.


Mountain Weather

Looks like another clear and cold day in paradise!  A strong temperature inversion can be found this morning, with ridgetop temperatures in the 20s and valley temperatures below 0.  Competing air masses, between a blocking High pressure across Alaska and a Low in the southern gulf of Alaska, will build strong pressure gradients across Southcentral Alaska and strong north wind.  This wind is expected to stay into Saturday.  The general pattern of a high pressure ridge in the Bering sea will persist into next week.

 


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). 

Wendy will issue the next advisory Friday morning, November 30th.

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: May 16, 2017 )

AREA STATUS WEATHER AND RIDING CONDITIONS
Glacier District
Johnson Pass: Closed
Placer River: Closed
Skookum Drainage: Closed
Turnagain Pass: ClosedThanks all for a safe and fun season on the Chugach NF! Stay tuned for the 2017/18 season. #playsafe #snowtosealevel
Twentymile: Closed
Seward District
Carter Lake: Closed
Lost Lake Trail: Closed
Primrose Trail: Closed
Resurrection Pass Trail: ClosedResurrection Pass trail will be open to snowmachine use during the 2017/18 winter season.
Snug Harbor: Closed
South Fork Snow River Corridor: Closed
Summit Lake: Closed

Subscribe to the Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory:

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 or questions regarding CNFAIC operations or winter recreation management, please email staff@chugachavalanche.org
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