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Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Forecaster:   Wendy Wagner  
Sunday, March 6th 2011
Created: Mar 6th 6:45 am
1 Low Alpine / Above 2,500' Travel Advice: Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.
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.
 Show the Complete North American Avalanche Danger Scale
BP Alaska
The Bottom Line
Good morning backcountry travelers. This is Wendy Wagner with the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center on Sunday, March 6th at 7am. This will serve as 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).

BOTTOM LINE
The avalanche danger is mostly LOW. There are pockets of MODERATE danger for triggering an avalanche that breaks into the deeper weak layers mainly associated with overlying wind slabs. These pockets can be found on wind loaded slopes with rollovers, rocky features, gullies, and shallow snowpack areas.

AVALANCHE DISCUSSION
It was good to see some snow showers in the mountains yesterday, but the trace that fell was just enough to cover a few pine needles. It appears the snow conditions remain prime for anCNFAIC Staff day of watching the Iditarod or finishing those taxes.

It seems like old news, but the biggest concern remains for an avalanche that fails in the deeper weak faceted snow. There have been no signs of these weak layers strengthening. The likelihood of triggering an avalanche has decreased but the chances that the slide will be unmanageable remain. Most of the avalanches we investigated this past week, after the wind storms, broke in these deeper weak layers underneath a wind slab. Most suspect slopes are areas where old wind slabs overlie either the original slab or the weak faceted snow itself. These are likely found in areas with older wind loading on steep rollovers and gullies, unsupported slopes and snowpacks less than 5-6 feet deep.

With the ramp up in winds yesterday and overnight there is a possibility of new wind drifts today. These are likely to be minor with the limited snow available for transport. Most wind slabs out there are several days old, very stubborn and hard to trigger, but worth keeping in mind. In many areas they lie on top of weak faceted snow making them slower to heal, especially with our recent cold temperatures. Watch for areas with wind loading on convexities, steep rocky terrain and in cross loaded slopes and gullies.

WEATHER ROUNDUP
The good news is we finally saw some clouds and flurries yesterday. The bad news is it was short lived with only a trace accumulating. The winds picked up yesterday from the east, gusting up to 40mph and temperatures warmed into the 30s. Overnight temperatures remained in the 20s and the wind backed off with gusts near 30mph. Today temperatures will again be in the 30s with light winds gusting from the east in the 20s on the ridgelines. Skies should be mostly to partly cloudy as the low pressure in the Gulf of Alaska pushes clouds over our region.

ANNOUNCEMENTS An APU student is conducting a survey on backcountry skiing group dynamics. Click on the link to participate in research on avalanche safety. Click here to take survey

The Forest Service is installing winter use bridges across Granite creek in Turnagain Pass. Be aware of an ice road from the Lyon creek bridge south towards Johnson Pass on the West side of the highway. Heavy equipment will also be used in the area.

I will issue the next advisory tomorrow morning at 7am. If you get out in the backcountry give us a call at 754-2369 or send us your observations using the button at the top of this page. Thanks and have a great day.

The NWS weather forecast for:
WESTERN PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND-
INCLUDING...WHITTIER...SEWARD...GIRDWOOD...MOOSE PASS
500 AM AKST SUN MAR 6 2011
.TODAY...MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF SNOW...MAINLY SOUTH OF MOOSE
PASS. HIGHS IN THE MID TO UPPER 30S. VARIABLE WIND 10 MPH EXCEPT
NORTH 10 TO 20 MPH NEAR SEWARD.
.TONIGHT...MOSTLY CLOUDY. A SLIGHT CHANCE OF SNOW...MAINLY SOUTH OF
MOOSE PASS. LOWS 10 TO 25 ABOVE...COOLEST INLAND. NORTHEAST WIND
5 TO 10 MPH EXCEPT NORTH 10 TO 20 MPH NEAR SEWARD.
.MONDAY...MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH SCATTERED SNOW SHOWERS...MAINLY SOUTH OF
MOOSE PASS. HIGHS IN THE 30S. NORTHEAST WIND 15 MPH.
.MONDAY NIGHT...MOSTLY CLOUDY IN THE EVENING THEN BECOMING PARTLY
CLOUDY. LOWS 15 TO 25...COOLEST INLAND. LIGHT WINDS EXCEPT NORTH
10 MPH NEAR SEWARD.
.TUESDAY...PARTLY CLOUDY WITH SCATTERED SNOW SHOWERS. HIGHS IN
THE 30S. LIGHT WINDS EXCEPT NORTH 10 MPH NEAR SEWARD.

TEMPERATURE / PRECIPITATION

SEWARD 38 26 37 / 20 20 40
GIRDWOOD 33 20 33 / 0 0 0


WEATHER STATION SUMMARY for Turnagain Pass:
-3800 Sunburst Wx Station-
Temperature 22 degrees. Upper teens from the NE gusting into the upper 20's.
-2600 Seattle Ridge Wx Station-
Temperature 27 degrees. Light winds from the SE gusting into the mid-teens.
-1800 Center Ridge Wx Station-
Temperature 27 degrees. No new snow.

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

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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
© 2017 Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center. All rights reserved.
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