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Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Forecaster:   Wendy Wagner  
Monday, March 5th 2012
Created: Mar 5th 6:46 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.
 Show the Complete North American Avalanche Danger Scale
The Bottom Line
Good morning. This is Wendy Wagner with the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center on Monday, March 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 is generally LOW this morning but will rise to MODERATE through the course of the day with the approach of a weak storm system. Newly developed wind slab avalanches will be possible to trigger above treeline on slopes with recent, or current, wind loading. Additionally, small to medium sized human triggered sluffs will be possible on slopes near 38 degrees and steeper. Areas without wind effect and below treeline will continue to have a LOW danger.

AVALANCHE DISCUSSION
What a brilliant day in the backcountry yesterday. Patchy clouds and cool temperatures kept the full strength of the sun at bay in many areas until the afternoon, leaving cold settled powder in most locations. A new sun crust has formed on more southerly slopes but seems to be fairly scattered and most widespread on southwest aspects. Avalanche activity was relegated to natural wet point releases in rocky south aspects as well as plentiful human triggered dry sluffs and a few small isolated wind slabs.

Today we should see a shift in the weather as light snowfall and moderate wind is expected to move in through the day. With that we can expect an increase in avalanche potential.

Primary concern: Wind Slab
With the bounty of loose dry snow on the surface available for transport, as well as a couple additional inches of light snow today, moderate winds should not have a hard time forming soft wind slabs on leeward slopes. These are likely to be small to medium size, occurring mainly above treeline near ridgelines and be VERY touchy as they will be sitting on very loose powder. Keeping an eye out for areas where the winds are increasing, snow is being moved and deposited onto slopes, and cracking in the snow around you will be key to avoiding a freshly formed slab.

Secondary concern: Loose Snow
Dry snow sluffing should continue on steep slopes that did not form a sun crust yesterday. In addition to today's expected 2" of snow, the single digit temperatures overnight likely kept the older surface quite loose and sluffing in this older snow still probable.

There is a slight chance we could see sun induced moist point release avalanches on east and south aspects in the case the clouds and wind do not move into our area until later today.

MOUNTAIN WEATHER
Partly cloudy skies cleared to mostly sunny by the afternoon yesterday as temperatures stayed chilly (mid 20's below treeline and the mid-teens on the ridgetops). Winds were calm to light on the peaks and ridges, gusting to 10mph, from the north and west.

Temperatures have plummeted overnight with the clear skies and we are in an inversion this morning for the first time in a month or more. Sea level temperatures are in the -5 to -10F range with 4000' near 10F above zero. Burr.

Through the day today, the low pressure system spinning in the Bering moves in from the west and our clear skies should begin to fill in by mid-day. Snowfall is expected in the afternoon with around 2" accumulating by this evening. Winds will shift from the north to a southerly direction this morning and are expected to increase and blow in the 15-20mph range with gusts near 30mph. AnCNFAIC Staff 3-6" should fall tonight with snow and wind tapering off tomorrow.

CNFAIC Weather Page and the NWS forecast

Graham will issue the next advisory Tuesday morning. If you get out in the backcountry we want to know what you are seeing. Please send us your observations using the button at the top of this page or give us a call at 754-2369. Thanks and have a great day.

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
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