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Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Forecaster:   Jon Gellings  
Tuesday, March 8th 2011
Created: Mar 8th 6:19 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
The Bottom Line
Good morning backcountry travelers. This is Jon Gellings with the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center on Tuesday, March 8th 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).

ANNOUNCEMENTS
The winner of the February drawing for public snow and avalanche observations is Matt Johnson! Congratulations and thanks for everyone who gave us their observations of the snowpack last month. Matt will receive a $100 gift certificate from his choice of our sponsors. All observers are entered for the Grand Prize at the end of this season for a new Avalanche Beacon. Each quality observation submitted is good for one chance to win.

BOTTOM LINE
Today the avalanche danger is LOW, with pockets of MODERATE. An avalanche could still break into deeper weak layers, which could create an unmanageable slide. Lingering hard wind slabs have the potential to fracture into these layers, most likely near rocky outcroppings, gullies, and on rollovers on steep wind loaded slopes. There is also a chance that new sun-triggered sluffs on South aspects could step down and break into these layers as well.

AVALANCHE DISCUSSION
Not much is happening in Turnagain Pass CNFAIC Staff than a few point releases on sun-affected slopes. A few have propagated smaller sized slabs, but these were located in Girdwood valley. This possibility exists in CNFAIC Staff areas as well, so caution is recommended when travelling under steep sunny slopes. Places for point release avalanche initiation include steep rollovers in the snowpack, rocks at the snow surface, and trees/alder sticking up through the snow.


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Steep slopes with a shallow snowpack are where a person could possibly set off an avalanche. Our main concern right now is triggering one which could break into the weak faceted snow associated with early season crusts. Getting a good look at these facets requires digging in many areas, while it is on the surface in some wind scoured spots. We still have poor structure in shallow areas and regions, and this is not expected to go away until a drastic change to the snowpack happens. But until then, avoid old wind slabs that could be triggered on unsupported slopes that rollover, as well as steep shallow rocky areas and cross loaded gullies.

WEATHER ROUNDUP
Winds are not expected to become strong enough to blow snow around. Temperatures broke the freezing point on Sunburst yesterday, and likely will again today. There is no new precipitation being forecasted for today.

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 TUE MAR 8 2011
.TODAY...PARTLY CLOUDY. HIGHS IN THE LOWER TO MID 30S. LIGHT WINDS
EXCEPT NORTH 10 TO 15 MPH NEAR SEWARD.
.TONIGHT...CLEAR. LOWS 10 TO 25 ABOVE...COOLEST INLAND. LIGHT
WINDS EXCEPT NORTH 10 TO 15 MPH NEAR SEWARD.
.WEDNESDAY...SUNNY. HIGHS IN THE UPPER 20S TO MID 30S. LIGHT
WINDS EXCEPT NORTH 10 TO 15 MPH NEAR SEWARD.

TEMPERATURE / PRECIPITATION
SEWARD 36 23 34 / 0 0 0
GIRDWOOD 34 14 33 / 0 0 0


WEATHER STATION SUMMARY for Turnagain Pass:
-3800 Sunburst Wx Station-
Temperature 19 degrees. NE wind 8mph gusting to 13mph.
-2600 Seattle Ridge Wx Station-
Temperature 22 degrees. SE wind 15mph gusting to 25mph.
-1800 Center Ridge Wx Station-
Temperature 22 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: Apr 28, 2017 )

AREA STATUS WEATHER AND RIDING CONDITIONS
Glacier District
Johnson Pass: Closed
Placer River: Closed
Skookum Drainage: ClosedSKOOKUM DRAINAGE CLOSED TO MOTORIZED USE ON APRIL 1 annually as per the Chugach National Forest Plan document.
Turnagain Pass: OpenOpen thru May 14th.
Twentymile: Closed
Seward District
Carter Lake: OpenClosed May 1.
Lost Lake Trail: OpenClosed May 1.
Primrose Trail: OpenClosed May 1.
Resurrection Pass Trail: ClosedClosed for 2016/17 winter season. This is a non-motorized season. This alternates every other year and will open again during the 2017/18 winter.
Snug Harbor: OpenClosed May 1.
South Fork Snow River Corridor: OpenClosed May 1.
Summit Lake: OpenClosed May 1.

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