|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|
More blow than snow…? Say it ain’t so… Unfortunately that appears to be the current situation. Easterly ridgetop winds have jumped up and are averaging in the 30s and 40s, with Sunburst recording a gust of 71 mph this morning. If you are thinking of heading out today, expect quite windy conditions and increasing avalanche hazard. Yesterday winds did not blow as high as forecast but were strong enough to move snow around in wind exposed terrain. Observers reported shooting cracks and touchy, shallow wind slabs. They also noted plenty of soft snow left to move around. With strong winds that ramped up last night forecast to continue today and continued snow showers, we expect the slabs to build even more, be easily triggered by a person on skis or machine and potentially release naturally. This means that paying attention to what terrain above you is also important.
What to watch out for if you’re headed out today:
Remember, expect any wind slab you find to be sitting on weak faceted snow and/or surface hoar and poor bonding is likely. There is also still a chance a persistent slab avalanche could be triggered. There is an older layer of buried surface hoar that is sitting under old wind slabs from the NW wind event last Saturday. A wind slab triggered today may be able to step down to this layer and cause a deeper avalanche.
Sluffs: If there are steep slopes out of wind, watch your sluff. These continue to be easily triggered and high volume in steep sustained terrain.
Cornices: Cornices are large and strong winds today will be adding additional stress. Cornice falls may trigger wind slabs on the slope below. Give them extra space as they can break farther back onto a ridge than expected and limit exposure under them.
Glide cracks are unpredictable, not associated with human triggers, and can release without warning at any time. New glide cracks are opening up around our region and existing ones are on the move. The most recent glide crack to avalanche was two days ago on Penguin Ridge. The best way to manage this problem is to avoid traveling on slopes directly below glide cracks.
Yesterday: Skies were mostly cloudy with a few pockets of blue in the afternoon. Winds were easterly 5-15 mph gusting into the 20s. Temperatures were in the high teens to mid 20°Fs at upper elevations and mid 30°Fs at sea level. There were light snow showers on and off throughout the day with 1-2″ of accumulation. Overnight skies were cloudy with light snow showers early this morning. Winds were easterly 20-40 mph gusting into the 50-60s with Sunburst hitting 71 at 4 am this morning. Temperatures were the teens to low 20°Fs at upper elevations and low 30°Fs at sea level.
Today: Skies will be mostly cloudy with light snow showers in the forecast, trace-3″ possible. Temperatures will be in the teens in the Alpine and the high 20°Fs to mid 30°Fs at lower elevations. Winds will be easterly 20-40 mph gusting into the 50s and 60s. There is some uncertainty with the wind models today so they may be lower than forecast, as was the case yesterday. Overnight snow showers and strong easterly winds continue and then taper off around midnight. Temperatures will be in the teens and 20°Fs.
Tomorrow: Skies will start off cloudy and become mostly sunny in the afternoon. Winds will be light and easterly and temperatures will be in the teens at upper elevations and high 20°Fs at sea level. The sunshine, light winds and moderate temperatures look to continue on Saturday.
PRECIPITATION 24-hour data (6am – 6am)
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||27||2||0.2||117|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||27||0||0||43|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||25||2||0.17||109|
RIDGETOP 24-hour data (6am – 6am)
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||20||E||16||33|
|02/24/21||Turnagain||Observation: Eddies||Johnston-Bloom / Roberts Forecaster|
|02/23/21||Turnagain||Observation: Silvertip||Nancy Pfeiffer|
|02/22/21||Turnagain||Observation: Magnum||Schauer/ Latosuo Forecaster|
|02/22/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: 3400′ SW Eddies ridge||Peter Ostroski|
|02/20/21||Turnagain||Observation: Shark’s Fin||Schauer/ Jonas Forecaster|
|02/17/21||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst||Johnston-Bloom / Roberts Forecaster|
|02/17/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Warm up bowl||Anonymous|
|02/15/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Eddies||Schauer/ Johnston-Bloom Forecaster|
|02/15/21||Turnagain||Observation: Lipps right above tree line 1800 feet elevation||Gunnar Polk|
|02/14/21||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan Treeline/ Center Ridge Meadows||AAS Rec Level 1 Eric Roberts/Bomba/Creighton|
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.