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Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Forecaster:   Jon Gellings  
Tuesday, April 5th 2011
Created: Apr 5th 7:32 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.
2 Moderate Treeline / 1,000'-2,500' Travel Advice: Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.
2 Moderate Below Treeline / Below 1,000' Travel Advice: Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.
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The Bottom Line
Good morning backcountry travelers. This is Jon Gellings with the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center on Tuesday, April 5th 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 today has dropped a bit, to MODERATE, with pockets of CONSIDERABLE. Fresh wind slabs on steep leeward terrain are still likely to slide, so identify slopes that fit this to avoid the hazard. Any previously dry snow that gets rained could possibly fail naturally today.

AVALANCHE DISCUSSION
We were still unable to see around into the upper start zones yesterday, furthering our suspicions of what has actually failed within the past several days. Much of what has slid could be covered up by the time we actually see the areas next.

Our biggest concern today is still the weak layers that got buried at the end of March. Northerly aspects lacking crusts in the upper portion of the snow have a higher concern than CNFAIC Staff aspects. Listening for whumpfing sounds, as well as searching for recent deeper avalanches can help clue you into this instability. Steeper slopes are the most likely places to find this, so assessing the snow before you travel on it is recommended.

Wind slabs that developed with the strong winds may still be sensitive, but are likely to be less reactive than earlier in the storm. If they do show themselves, they will likely show shooting cracks, followed by cascading snow downhill.

Any amount of open sun on this new snow will likely start the sun-affect types of instabilities, so be aware of this if recreating on South facing slopes in the afternoon. Looking for recent avalanches is the best type of bulls eye clue to showing what has been unstable recently, and what kind of slope is still hanging in the balance. Aspects and angles showing this recent activity are the ones to be avoided today.

Encyclopedia of avalanche terms.

WEATHER ROUNDUP
Winds are still going to be able to transport some amount of snow, so they could contribute to instabilities today. Temperatures look like they will be similar to yesterday, but then dropping significantly tonight. There is a small amount of precipitation out there today, so we could see some amount hit our area, but not enough will fall to increase the danger a large amount.

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 AKDT TUE APR 5 2011
.TODAY...SNOW AND RAIN. SNOW ACCUMULATION UP TO 2 INCHES OVER HIGHER
ELEVATIONS. HIGHS IN THE MID 30S TO MID 40S. WEST WIND 15 MPH.
.TONIGHT...PARTLY CLOUDY. ISOLATED RAIN AND SNOW SHOWERS IN THE
EVENING. LOWS IN THE LOWER 20S TO LOWER 30S. VARIABLE WIND TO 10 MPH.
NEAR SEWARD...NORTH WIND 10 TO 25 MPH.
.WEDNESDAY...MOSTLY SUNNY IN THE MORNING THEN BECOMING PARTLY
CLOUDY. HIGHS IN THE MID 30S TO MID 40S. NORTHWEST WIND 10 TO
15 MPH EXCEPT NORTH 15 TO 30 MPH NEAR SEWARD.
.WEDNESDAY NIGHT...CLOUDY. SNOW LIKELY AFTER MIDNIGHT. LOWS IN THE
MID 20S TO LOWER 30S. VARIABLE WIND 10 MPH. THROUGH PORTAGE VALLEY
AND TURNAGAIN ARM...VARIABLE WIND 10 MPH BECOMING EAST 10 TO 25 MPH
AFTER MIDNIGHT.


TEMPERATURE / PRECIPITATION
SEWARD 46 29 42 / 80 20 0
GIRDWOOD 39 25 37 / 80 20 0

WEATHER STATION SUMMARY for Turnagain Pass:
-3800 Sunburst Wx Station-
22 degrees. ENE wind 16mph gusting to 28mph.
-2600 Seattle Ridge Wx Station-
26 degrees. SE wind 21mph gusting to 29mph.
-1800 Center Ridge Wx Station-
30 degrees. 1 inch 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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