|Signal Word||Size (D scale)||Simple Descriptor|
|Small||1||Unlikely to bury a person|
|Large||2||Can bury a person|
|Very Large||3||Can destroy a house|
|Historic||4 & 5||Can destroy part or all of a village|
Today is the turning point from our last week of cold and stable weather into a new pattern of low pressure systems bringing snowfall and warmer temperatures to our area. A brief period of snowfall this morning could bring 1-3″ of accumulation as well as an increase in wind speeds. There is a fair amount of uncertainty with the weather forecast right now, but our best estimate is that the winds will pick up to 5-25 mph out of the E with gusts possible into the thirties. As of 3 am this morning Sunburst is showing increased winds with hourly averages in the mid teens and gusts into the mid twenties.
With about 3-5″ of loose surface snow currently available, plus whatever new snow falls today, there is potential for fresh wind slabs up to a foot deep to form at upper elevations. Look for active wind transport, hollow feeling snow, and shooting cracks to identify locations where wind slabs are forming. These will likely not be big enough to bury a person today, because we have limited snow available for transport, but since they are forming on top of a shallowly buried ice crust they could be quite reactive and run further down the slope than expected.
Dry Loose Avalanches – The 3-5″ of loose surface snow that we currently have has been turning to facets during the cold temperatures this week and can create dry loose avalanches on top of the ice crust in steep terrain.
Our bigger concern is a large low pressure system moving into the area tomorrow afternoon that could drop up to 30″ of snowfall from Sunday through Monday. This new load will be falling on top of a weak snow surface composed of surface hoar and near surface facets on top of a crust. We expect that the rapid addition of a new snow load will cause widespread avalanches in the storm snow and will take time to bond to our existing snow surface. Stay tuned for updates on the timing and snowfall amounts for this next storm and try to mentally prepare yourself to rein in the stoke for new snow and give the snowpack some time to adjust to this new load before stepping into steep terrain.
Snowfall estimates for our region from Sunday morning through Monday morning. Expected storm totals of 24-30″ for Turnagain Pass, 18-24″ for Girdwood, and 12-18″ for Summit Lake. Graphic courtesy of NWS Anchorage 1.7.22
Yesterday: It looks like yesterday was our last day of stable clear and cold weather for awhile. There was a strong inversion, with temperatures down to -10 F at valley bottoms and up to 20 F at ridge tops. Winds were mostly light during the day, but picked up to 10 to 15 mph overnight, with gusts into the mid 20s.
Today: A new regime of low pressure systems combined with snowfall and high winds is starting to move into the area today. A wave of snowfall will move through our area this morning with the potential for 1-3″ of accumulation. An increase in wind speeds will accompany that snow, ranging from 5-25 mph with gusts possible into the thirties. Temperatures should remain cold today staying in the 5 to 15 F range.
Tomorrow: A large low pressure system with the potential for sustained heavy snowfall will move into the area tomorrow midday. Current estimates are for 24-30″ of snowfall in Turnagain Pass, 18-24″ in Girdwood, and 12-18″ in Summit Lake starting on Sunday afternoon through Monday. Temperatures will be rising during that period with snow line moving up to about 800 ft overnight on Monday. Strong winds up to 40 mph are forecast during the period of heavy precipitation.
PRECIPITATION 24-hour data (6am – 6am)
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||8||0||0||63|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||-7||0||0||22|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||5||0||0||38|
RIDGETOP 24-hour data (6am – 6am)
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||11||E||7||13|
|05/22/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan||Nick D'Alessio|
|05/12/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan, Sunburst, Magnum, Cornbiscuit||Heather Thamm|
|05/07/23||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan – Bear Tracks||CNFAIC Staff|
|05/05/23||Turnagain||Observation: Seattle Ridge||AS/ WW Forecaster|
|05/02/23||Turnagain||Observation: Cornbiscuit||Schauer/ Sturgess Forecaster|
|05/02/23||Turnagain||Observation: Seward Hwy Turnagain Pass||Joel Curtis|
|04/30/23||Turnagain||Observation: Magnum||Ayla, Kit Crosby, Barton|
|04/29/23||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan||John Sykes|
|04/28/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Taylor Pass/Pastoral||Schauer/ Creighton Forecaster|
|04/28/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan||Andy Moderow|
Status of riding areas across the Chugach NF is managed by the Glacier and Seward Ranger Districts, not avalanche center staff. Riding area information is posted as a public service to our users and updated based on snow depth and snow density to prevent resource damage at trailhead locations. Riding area questions contact: email@example.com
|Area||Status||Weather & Riding Conditions|
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.