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Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Forecaster:   Jon Gellings  
Wednesday, March 9th 2011
Created: Mar 9th 6:26 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
Key Bank
The Bottom Line
Good morning backcountry travelers. This is Jon Gellings with the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center on Wednesday, March 9th 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 continues to be LOW with pockets of MODERATE. Any triggered avalanche has the possibility of stepping down into older weak layers, creating a larger slide. Hard wind slabs which get triggered have the potential of fracturing down to these layers, and are most suspected on steep rollovers on wind loaded slopes and near rocky outcroppings and gullies. A slight chance remains than any sun-triggered sluffs happening on South aspects could also break down into the deeper weak layers.

AVALANCHE DISCUSSION
Ridgelines yesterday had light breezes, which helped keep the snow surface cool. Further down on Southern slopes was a different story however, with pockets of soft snow turning into knee-high wet snow, especially below 2500 ft. People are able to trigger point releases in this warm surface snow, as evidenced by Wendys push-a-lanche below.


560-P1010034.JPG


Places where natural point releases could start include near steep rocky outcroppings, convex rollovers, and places where trees stick up through the snow.
On non-sun-affected slopes, surface hoar is growing as well, ranging from 1-2cm down low to 2mm in upper elevations. Surface hoar and sun crusts on the surface could make for an interesting avalanche cycle when we get some new snow.

Our current stability concerns remain the same, where a shallow snowpack on a steep slope is where a person could possibly trigger a slab avalanche. The biggest concern we have right now would be triggering an avalanche which breaks into the older weak snow near early season crusts. Looking at these faceted snow grains is easier in scoured spots, because they are closer to the surface. This poorly structured snowpack is most predominant in areas and regions with a shallow snow depth, and is not expected to leave our area until a major jolt to the snowpack occurs. Unfortunately, since today is likely not that day, we can not write these instabilities off.

Encyclopedia of avalanche terms.

WEATHER ROUNDUP
Winds are not expected to become strong enough to blow snow around. Temperatures are forecasted to get back into the 30s. There is no new precipitation being forecasted for today.

Kevin 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 WED MAR 9 2011
.TODAY...SUNNY. HIGHS IN THE 30S. LIGHT WINDS EXCEPT NORTH 10 TO
15 MPH NEAR SEWARD.
.TONIGHT...CLEAR. LOWS 15 TO 25 ABOVE...COOLEST INLAND. LIGHT
WINDS EXCEPT NORTH 10 MPH NEAR SEWARD.
.THURSDAY...SUNNY. HIGHS IN THE LOWER TO MID 30S. LIGHT WINDS
EXCEPT NORTH 10 MPH NEAR SEWARD.

TEMPERATURE / PRECIPITATION
SEWARD 39 20 34 / 0 0 0
GIRDWOOD 34 16 31 / 0 0 0



WEATHER STATION SUMMARY for Turnagain Pass:
-3800 Sunburst Wx Station-
Temperature 18 degrees. NE wind 17mph gusting to 26mph.
-2600 Seattle Ridge Wx Station-
Temperature 21 degrees. SE wind 11mph gusting to 15mph.
-1800 Center Ridge Wx Station-
Temperature 21 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

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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