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Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Forecaster:   Jon Gellings  
Wednesday, March 16th 2011
Created: Mar 16th 6:53 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.
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The Bottom Line
Good morning backcountry travelers. This is Jon Gellings with the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center on Wednesday, March 16th 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
Today, a LOW danger of slab avalanches exists. Lingering hazards common to stable periods, such as isolated old wind slabs in extreme terrain, and weak cornices are the type of instabilities most concerning right now. Thin snowpack areas still contain an outside chance that a deeper avalanche could fail in wind loaded areas of steep slopes.

ANNOUNCEMENTS
Chugach Electric Association, Inc. will be conducting patrol and maintenance of the electrical lines between Summit Lake and Turnagain Pass until April 15th. They will be operating snowmachines near the power lines between Center Ridge and Johnson Pass North T.H. under a special use permit.

AVALANCHE DISCUSSION
Warm temperatures last night indicate that the snow surface has not gone through as hard of a freeze cycle as it could have. The Center Ridge weather station is currently at the freezing threshold, and is only going to warm up again today. These middle elevations seem to have stayed the warmest, so any wet activity today would be more likely at these elevations than at upper ones. If the sun makes it out again today, south slopes would become more concerning, with an increased possibility of producing wet snow that can be pushed down a slope.

Normal caution is advised today. The unlikely possibility exists of triggering an avalanche in steep, rocky terrain. Old wind slabs could break near rocks in these steep areas, as well as in steep cross loaded gully features. Due to the higher current temperatures, cornice failure has also become a concern of ours, so walking near cornices demands an increase in cautiousness.

We are forecasted to receive precipitation again today. Yesterday, all that we saw falling in Johnson Pass were a few snowflakes, so nothing significant at all. It looks like tonight and the near future hold a higher chance of giving us new precipitation, but I wouldnt hold my breath for any large amount of snow with this storm.

An isolated chance still exists of any triggered avalanche breaking into our old weak snow in regions with less snow than in Turnagain Pass. Places with this concern generally have less than a 5-6 foot deep snowpack.

Encyclopedia of avalanche terms.

WEATHER ROUNDUP
Winds are forecasted to get into the 20mph range, still far under what it would take to transport any amount of old snow. Temperatures are already warm at middle elevations, and they look like they could climb out of the freezing range at upper elevations. Precipitation amounts are forecasted to be pretty minimal for today, with the possibility of an increase overnight. The radar currently shows a small parcel of moist air south of Prince William Sound.

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 AKDT WED MAR 16 2011
.TODAY...CLOUDY WITH SCATTERED SNOW AND RAIN SHOWERS. HIGHS IN THE
30S. LIGHT WINDS EXCEPT NORTH 10 TO 15 MPH NEAR SEWARD.
.TONIGHT...SNOW LIKELY...MIXED WITH RAIN AT LOWER ELEVATIONS. SNOW
ACCUMULATION 1 TO 2 INCHES. LOWS IN THE LOWER 20S TO LOWER
30S...COOLEST INLAND. LIGHT WINDS EXCEPT NORTH 10 MPH NEAR SEWARD.
.THURSDAY...SNOW AND RAIN IN THE MORNING...THEN A CHANCE OF RAIN IN
THE AFTERNOON. SNOW ACCUMULATION 1 TO 2 INCHES. HIGHS IN THE LOWER
30S TO LOWER 40S. LIGHT WINDS.

TEMPERATURE / PRECIPITATION
SEWARD 39 30 40 / 40 60 60
GIRDWOOD 35 26 39 / 30 60 80

WEATHER STATION SUMMARY for Turnagain Pass:
-3800 Sunburst Wx Station-
23 degrees at 6am. Light wind from the NE.
-2600 Seattle Ridge Wx Station-
28 degrees at 5am. Light wind from the NE.
-1800 Center Ridge Wx Station-
32 degrees at 5am. 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
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