|Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.
|Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.
|Dangerous avalanche conditions. Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious route-finding, and conservative decision-making essential.
|Very dangerous avalanche conditions. Travel in avalanche terrain not recommended.
|Extraordinarily dangerous avalanche conditions. Avoid all avalanche terrain.
|Likelihood of Avalanches
|Natural and human-triggered avalanches unlikely.
|Natural avalanches unlikely; human-triggered avalanches possible.
|Natural avalanches possible; human-triggered avalanches likely.
|Natural avalanches likely; human-triggered avalanches very likely.
|Natural and human-triggered avalanches certain.
|Avalanche Size and Distribution
|Small avalanches in isolated areas or extreme terrain.
|Small avalanches in specific areas; or large avalanches in isolated areas.
|Small avalanches in many areas; or large avalanches in specific areas; or very large avalanches in isolated areas.
|Large avalanches in many areas; or very large avalanches in specific areas.
|Very large avalanches in many areas.
The last known avalanche in the Turnagain Area was a large glide avalanche that released overnight on Thursday Jan 25th. This avalanche released down to the ground (4-6′ deep) and came close to burying the Seattle Ridge uptrack. Most of the debris piled up on a bench at 1700′ and did not runout onto the lower slopes, where most folks travel to access Seattle ridge.
|Size (D scale)
|Unlikely to bury a person
|Can bury a person
|Can destroy a house
|4 & 5
|Can destroy part or all of a village
Glide avalanches continue to be our primary concern. These avalanches can be very large and destructive and they release randomly. Typically you can see a glide crack on the slope before an avalanche releases. We recommend being aware of any slopes overhead and looking for any existing glide cracks to identify areas to avoid. If you need to travel underneath a glide crack it is best to space out and travel as quickly as you can. Glide cracks that have already released can have additional portions of the crack that extend further across the slope which have not yet released. These pieces of hang fire can be harder to identify, but still pose a threat and should be avoided if possible.
Other than glide cracks it is possible that you could find a small wind slab today. Winds speeds started to pick up slightly overnight, with averages of 10 mph and gusts to 20 mph. Given the strong winds that have impacted the forecast area since the last new snowfall, there is probably not much soft snow left on the surface to be transported into wind slabs. However, if you are in steep terrain a small wind slab could cause an issue. Keep an eye out for active wind loading along ridgelines to check whether the winds are strong enough to form a fresh wind slab. These will be most likely along areas exposed to typical gap winds, like Turnagain Arm, where winds speeds are expected to be highest today.
Yesterday: Another cold and clear day, with temperatures ranging from -10 to 10 F at lower elevations and 10 to 20 F at upper elevations. Wind speeds were light and variable averaging 0 to 5 mph with gusts up to 15 mph. Valley fog hung around for most of the day in Girdwood and was in and out along Turnagain Arm.
Today: A little bit of cloud cover is expected to move into the area today, but skies should remain mostly sunny. Winds are also expected to pick up slightly with averages of 5-10 mph out of the NW and gusts up to 20 mph at upper elevations. Stronger wind gusts up to 35 mph are possible in typical gap wind areas, like along Turnagain Arm and near Seward. Temperatures are expected to remain cold at lower elevations (-10 to 10 degrees) and decrease at upper elevations throughout the day (0 to 10 F).
Tomorrow: Continued cold temperatures and partly cloudy skies are expected to persist on Saturday. The temperature inversion that has been in place for over a week is expected to break down Friday night, with cold temperatures from -5 to 5 F expected at all elevations on Saturday. Wind speeds will remain in the 5-10 mph range out of the NW with gusts up to 20 mph at upper elevations. Stronger gusts up to 35-40 mph are expected in gap wind areas.
PRECIPITATION 24-hour data (6am – 6am)
|Temp Avg (F)
|Snow Depth (in)
|Center Ridge (1880′)
|Summit Lake (1400′)
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)
|Bear Valley – Portage (132′)
|Grouse Ck – Seward (700′)
RIDGETOP 24-hour data (6am – 6am)
|Temp Avg (F)
|Wind Avg (mph)
|Wind Gust (mph)
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)
|Observation: TinCan Backdoor/ Center Ridge
|AAS L1 Turnagain
|Avalanche: Lynx Creek
|Observation: Turnagain, Seattle, Mt Ascension
|Silverton Mountain Guides
|Observation: Tincan Trees
|Dalpes/Thamm/ Schauer Forecaster
|Observation: Seward Highway across from Johnson Pass TH
|Avalanche: Base of Seattle Ridge
|Troy Tempel, Thomas Lees, .Josh Bollaert, Damian Naquin
|Observation: Lynx creek
|Observation: Tincan Trees
|Moderow / Clayton