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Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Forecaster:   Jon Gellings  
Wednesday, April 6th 2011
Created: Apr 6th 6:47 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 Wednesday, April 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 today is MODERATE with pockets of CONSIDERABLE. Recent wind slabs on steep leeward terrain could still possibly be triggered by a skier or snowmachiner. The pockets of elevated danger will become increasingly obvious as the sun begins to warm this surface layer of previously non-sun-affected snow, if the sun acts as forecast.

AVALANCHE DISCUSSION
We will hopefully be able to see the extent of recent avalanches today, pending whether or not the obscure skies lift for once. I suspect a new layer of surface hoar has formed last night due to clear skies, low temperatures, moist snow, and light breezes. If the approaching storm comes in overnight and drops a significant amount of snow on this, expect anCNFAIC Staff increase in avalanche activity.

The weak layers of surface hoar and small facets from the end of March are currently the most concerning layer in our snowpack. Steep alpine slopes facing North which lack crusts in upper snow layers have a more concerning setup than lower elevations which now have a rain crust, and alpine South aspects which have sun crusts from previously sunny days last week.

The secondary concern, which may become a higher concern in the afternoon dependent on sun, is that South aspects will start shedding snow in the form of point releases near rock outcroppings. As these roll down the slope, they could naturally start pulling out wet and/or soft slabs further downhill. Clues to this instability include increasing temperatures, which manifest in seeing roller balls, as well as upper layers of snow settling and creeping, and becoming saturated with water.

If you hear any whumpf sounds, see shooting cracks, feel collapses, or see any recent avalanches, please let us know about them by submitting an observation at the top of this page. These clues help us determine what type of instability we are dealing with, and where more concerning areas are located. Plus, you get entered to win a beacon of your choice on April 15th!

Encyclopedia of avalanche terms.

WEATHER ROUNDUP
For the next 12 hours, the winds are not forecasted to be strong enough to transport snow, therefore will not increase the avalanche danger. Temperatures are not going to be as warm as they were yesterday, which has already started freezing up the recently saturated snow at lower elevations. Expect a surface crust Precipitation will likely not be falling at a significant rate today, as radar, satellite, models and forecasts all point to semi-clear skies. Winds and precipitation rates will increase later on tonight, affecting tomorrows avalanche danger.

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 THE CITIES OF...WHITTIER...SEWARD...GIRDWOOD...
MOOSE PASS
546 AM AKDT WED APR 6 2011

...HIGH WIND WATCH IN EFFECT FROM THURSDAY MORNING THROUGH
THURSDAY AFTERNOON...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN ANCHORAGE HAS ISSUED A HIGH WIND
WATCH...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM THURSDAY MORNING THROUGH THURSDAY
AFTERNOON.

SOUTHEAST WINDS WILL INCREASE TO 65 MPH WITH POSSIBLE GUSTS TO 90
MPH THURSDAY MORNING. WINDS ARE EXPECTED TO DIMINISH TO 50 TO 65
MPH BY LATE THURSDAY AFTERNOON AFTER FRONTAL PASSAGE.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A HIGH WIND WATCH MEANS THERE IS THE POTENTIAL FOR A HAZARDOUS
HIGH WIND EVENT. PEOPLE ARE ENCOURAGED TO CLOSELY MONITOR THIS
WEATHER SITUATION. PREPARATION FOR THIS POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS
WEATHER EVENT SHOULD BEGIN NOW.

&&

$$
FPAK51PAFC_AKZ125
-----------------
AKZ125-070000-
WESTERN PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND-
INCLUDING...WHITTIER...SEWARD...GIRDWOOD...MOOSE PASS
500 AM AKDT WED APR 6 2011

...HIGH WIND WATCH EARLY THURSDAY MORNING THROUGH THURSDAY AFTERNOON
THROUGH PORTAGE VALLEY AND TURNAGAIN ARM...
.TODAY...PARTLY CLOUDY. HIGHS IN THE MID 30S TO LOWER 40S.
NORTHWEST WIND 10 TO 15 MPH. NEAR WHITTIER...NORTH WIND 15 TO 25 MPH
BECOMING 10 MPH IN THE AFTERNOON.
.TONIGHT...CLOUDY. SNOW AFTER MIDNIGHT. AREAS OF BLOWING SNOW WILL
REDUCE VISIBILITIES TO LESS THAN A MILE AT TIMES AFTER MIDNIGHT. SNOW
ACCUMULATION UP TO 5 INCHES. LOWS 10 TO 20 ABOVE. LIGHT WINDS
BECOMING SOUTHEAST 15 TO 30 MPH AFTER MIDNIGHT. THROUGH PORTAGE
VALLEY AND TURNAGAIN ARM...VARIABLE WIND 10 MPH INCREASING TO EAST 35
TO 50 MPH AFTER MIDNIGHT.
.THURSDAY...AREAS OF BLOWING SNOW IN THE MORNING WILL REDUCE
VISIBILITIES TO LESS THAN A MILE AT TIMES. SNOW IN THE
MORNING...THEN SNOW AND RAIN IN THE AFTERNOON. SNOW MAY BE HEAVY
AT TIMES IN THE MORNING. SNOW ACCUMULATION UP TO 10 INCHES OVER
HIGHER ELEVATIONS. HIGHS IN THE LOWER 30S TO LOWER 40S. SOUTHEAST
WIND 20 TO 35 MPH. THROUGH PORTAGE VALLEY AND TURNAGAIN ARM...EAST
WIND 65 WITH POSSIBLE GUSTS TO 90 MPH DECREASING TO 50 TO 65 MPH IN
THE AFTERNOON.
.THURSDAY NIGHT...NUMEROUS SNOW SHOWERS. LOWS IN THE MID 20S TO
MID 30S. SOUTH WIND 10 TO 20 MPH EXCEPT SOUTHEAST 15 TO 30 MPH
THROUGH PORTAGE VALLEY AND TURNAGAIN ARM.



TEMPERATURE / PRECIPITATION
SEWARD 40 29 42 / 0 100 100
GIRDWOOD 36 30 39 / 0 100 100


WEATHER STATION SUMMARY for Turnagain Pass:
-3800 Sunburst Wx Station-
16 degrees. N wind 4mph gusting to 13mph.
-2600 Seattle Ridge Wx Station-
26 degrees. Winds are not being recorded due to an iced-up anemometer. This should correct itself when the winds pick up tonight.
-1800 Center Ridge Wx Station-
23 degrees. 2-3 inches 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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