|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 latest avalanche in the ongoing glide cycle happened Friday night, when a large glide avalanche released directly above the motorized uptrack on the front side of Seattle Ridge. The avalanche put a massive debris pile on the main part of the uptrack.
This glide avalanche from Friday night was the most recent avalanche to hit the common uptrack on the front side of Seattle Ridge. This one did the most damage, putting a significant amount of debris on the middle portion of the uptrack. 01.27.2024
|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
After 21 days without a major precipitation event, we are expecting to see a change in the weather starting this afternoon. Although we may see a foot or more snow by mid day tomorrow, it is looking like most of that will arrive after sunset today which means for now the avalanche conditions should remain similar to what they have been for most of the month. Our main concern remains the active glide cycle that we have been watching unfold since late December.
We have seen unusually active glide conditions from Girdwood all the way to Seward, with a lot of activity concentrated in high-use areas. The most recent glide avalanches were early Thursday morning and early Friday night, with two avalanches that left a large amount of debris on the main uptrack on the front side of Seattle Ridge. In addition to the incredible amount of glide activity on Seattle Ridge, we have also seen widespread activity on virtually every ridgeline on the skier’s side of the pass, as well as significant activity in the Girdwood and Summit areas (check out the photos in this observation from yesterday for a sense of the extent of the current state of glide activity in Turnagain Pass). Glide avalanches are different from most other avalanches in that we have no way of predicting the timing of their release. On the other hand, since most glide avalanches occur after a glide crack has opened up we have a much better idea of exactly which slopes are most vulnerable. The best way to manage this avalanche problem is to avoid traveling on or below slopes with open glide cracks. If you can’t find an alternate route, you can reduce your exposure by traveling quickly one at a time under glide cracks and watching your partners from safe areas outside of avalanche runout zones.
Keep the approaching storm in the back of your mind today, and expect to see increasing avalanche danger if the weather arrives sooner than expected. We know this new snow will be falling on weak surfaces, and we are expecting avalanche conditions to be dangerous once the snow starts accumulating. Hopefully we will end up on the high end of the snow forecast, we’re all looking for a good reset!
Closer view of the two recent glide avalanches on the front side of Seattle Ridge. The avalanche on the left occurred early Thursday morning, while the one on the right occurred early Friday night. 01.27.2024
While the bulk of this storm is expected to hit areas east of us, we could see a foot or more of snow in some portions of our advisory area by tomorrow afternoon. Graphic courtesy of NWS Anchorage. 01.28.2024
Yesterday: Temperatures stayed cold yesterday as an arctic air mass continues to push into our region, with highs in the single digits above and below 0 F and lows in the single digits to teens below 0 F. Skies were partly to mostly cloudy, with light winds out of the north. Some areas got 1-3 inches of very low density snow, which at some stations did not even have enough water weight to register on the sensors.
Today: After three weeks without a significant precipitation event, we are looking at a pattern change today. Although the brunt of this storm is expected to impact areas east of our advisory area, we may still see a foot or more of snow by the time the storm passes tomorrow afternoon. For today, expect to see 1-3” snow this afternoon with winds staying light and variable for most of the advisory area. Temperatures should start rising this morning, getting up to the single digits to low teens F by sunset, and continuing to warm up to the high teens to high 20s F tonight. Skies should be partly to mostly cloudy, and we are expecting to see snow to sea level for this event.
Tomorrow: The most intense stormy period is looking to be tonight into tomorrow morning. Girdwood and Turnagain Pass may see 10-14” snow, with 18-24” possible in Portage and Placer. Summit and Seward are looking to receive less snow, with around 4-8” expected. Winds should remain reasonable at around 10 mph out of the east with gusts of 15-20 mph. High temperatures will be in the 20s F with lows dropping back down to the single digits to mid teens F.
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