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ARCHIVED - Forecasts expire after 24 hours.
Issued
Sun, March 3rd, 2024 - 7:00AM
Expires
Mon, March 4th, 2024 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
Andrew Schauer
Avalanche risk The Bottom Line

The avalanche danger is LOW today at all elevations. With another day of quiet weather and a generally stable snowpack in our core advisory area, it is unlikely, but not impossible, that a person will trigger a slab avalanche. It is very likely that people will trigger dry loose avalanches, or sluffs. Avoid getting caught off guard by maintaining safe travel practices, travelling one at a time in steep terrain and watching your partners from safe spots outside of runout zones.

 

SUMMIT LAKE/JOHNSON PASS: There is a weak layer of faceted snow buried 1-2′ deep that is still reactive in these central Kenai zones where the snowpack is generally thinner and weaker. A skier triggered an avalanche on Johnson Pass on Friday, and similar activity is possible today. If you’re getting out in this area, be sure to evaluate the snowpack carefully before getting into steeper terrain. Check out the most recent Weekend Outlook for more info in this area.

Special Announcements

Turnagain Takeover Avalanche Awareness Day – Mark your calendars for our annual Turnagain Takeover day on Saturday March 23, 2024. Come grab a hot dog or burger and meet the forecast team to chat about current conditions or bring your burning questions about snow and avalanches. Local dealers will have demo sleds to ride and there will be stations to practice your avalanche rescue skills.

Sun, March 3rd, 2024
Alpine
Above 2,500'
1 - Low
Avalanche risk
Treeline
1,000'-2,500'
1 - Low
Avalanche risk
Below Treeline
Below 1,000'
1 - Low
Avalanche risk
Mon, March 4th, 2024
Alpine
Above 2,500'
2 - Moderate
Avalanche risk
Treeline
1,000'-2,500'
1 - Low
Avalanche risk
Below Treeline
Below 1,000'
1 - Low
Avalanche risk
Mon, March 4th, 2024
Alpine
Above 2,500'
2 - Moderate
Avalanche risk
Treeline
1,000'-2,500'
1 - Low
Avalanche risk
Below Treeline
Below 1,000'
1 - Low
Avalanche risk
0 - No Rating
1 - Low
2 - Moderate
3 - Considerable
4 - High
5 - Extreme
Avalanche risk Avalanche risk Avalanche risk Avalanche risk Avalanche risk
Travel Advice 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.
Recent Avalanches

A skier triggered an avalanche yesterday while bootpacking up a couloir on Nagoon Peak in the Winner Creek drainage right on the northern edge of our advisory area. The skier was carried a short distance but was able to self-arrest. The avalanche was about 8” deep, and the slope was covered in fresh avalanche debris from sluffing overhead. The skier noticed a ‘whumpf’ just before they triggered the avalanche.

Avalanche Problem 1
  • Normal Caution
    Normal Caution
Normal Caution
Normal Caution means triggering an avalanche is unlikely but not impossible.
More info at Avalanche.org

With no major structural concerns and another day of quiet weather expected, it is unlikely a person will trigger a slab avalanche today. But that doesn’t mean the snowpack is unconditionally safe. There are a few things to keep in mind:

Dry Loose Avalanches (sluffs) are very likely on slopes with soft snow on the surface. These are smaller compared to slab avalanches, but can still have severe consequences if they carry you through terrain traps like rocks, trees, or cliffs, or into features will debris will pile up deeper. If you are getting into steeper terrain, expect the soft snow on the surface to sluff, and manage the terrain appropriately.

People triggered avalanches on the fringes of our forecast zone the past two days. While the snowpack is generally safe for the majority of our forecast area, there are still some real concerns as you move into adjacent zones. On Friday a skier triggered a large avalanche in Johnson Pass that failed on weak snow buried about 2 feet deep. Then just yesterday a person triggered an avalanche while hiking up a steep couloir in the Winner Creek drainage north of Girdwood. This avalanche failed within the newest snow from earlier in the week on a slope with fresh debris on the surface from recent sluffing, which was likely acting as a more cohesive slab on top of the relatively weaker powder snow.

It is unlikely people will trigger avalanches today, but not impossible. Avoid getting caught by surprise by maintaining safe travel protocols. This includes traveling one at a time in steep terrain and watching partners from safe spots outside of avalanche runout zones. It also means paying attention to any warning signs like shooting cracks or collapsing, which are indicators of unstable conditions. This will be unlikely today, but the forecast area is large, and you may still be able to find an isolated wind slab or an unusual avalanche like the one in Winner Creek yesterday.

Multiple skier-triggered dry lose avalanches on the south-facing terrain off the Cornbiscuit ridgeline yesterday. Notice the debris piling up in the gully just left of the center of the frame. 03.02.2024

 

Weather
Sun, March 3rd, 2024

Yesterday: Skies were clear with light winds out of the north at 5 to 10 mph and gusts of 10-20 mph. Temperatures started out cold with lows in the single digits below 0 F, warming to the low teens F. We didn’t see any precipitation.

Today: The high pressure ridge that has been bringing cold temperatures and northerly winds is moving out today, giving way to a southwesterly flow that is expected to bring increasing cloud cover, warmer temperatures, and some snow starting tonight. High temperatures should be in the mid to upper teens F today, with light winds out of the south at 5 to 10 mph. Skies should be partly to mostly cloudy, with increasing cloud cover through the day. Precipitation is unlikely for most places today, but we may see a trace or an inch overnight tonight.

Tomorrow: We’re expecting mostly cloudy skies with light snow showers bringing 1-2” snow to sea level tomorrow. High temperatures are expected to be in the low to mid 20s F, with lows in the high teens to low 20s F. Winds will switch to the southeast and pick up slightly at 10-20 mph with gusts of 20-25 mph.

PRECIPITATION 24-hour data (6am – 6am)

Temp Avg (F) Snow (in) Water (in) Snow Depth (in)
Center Ridge (1880′) 4 0 0 87
Summit Lake (1400′) -1 0 0 45
Alyeska Mid (1700′) 7 0 0 87
Bear Valley – Portage (132′) 6 0 0
Grouse Ck (700′) 5 0 0 65

RIDGETOP 24-hour data (6am – 6am)

Temp Avg (F) Wind Dir Wind Avg (mph) Wind Gust (mph)
Sunburst (3812′) 8 E 5 23
Seattle Ridge (2400′) 5 NE 3 8
Observations
Recent Observations for Turnagain Pass
Date Region Location
05/13/24 Turnagain Observation: Eddie’s, Sunburst, Seattle, Cornbiscuit, Pete’s South
05/13/24 Turnagain Observation: Turnagain Pass non-motorized side
05/12/24 Turnagain Observation: Warm up Bowl
05/07/24 Turnagain Observation: Turnagain Pass Wet Slabs
04/29/24 Turnagain Avalanche: Turnagain aerial obs
04/27/24 Turnagain Observation: Johnson Pass
04/23/24 Turnagain Observation: Turnagain Sunny Side
04/21/24 Turnagain Observation: Bertha Creek
04/20/24 Turnagain Avalanche: Spokane Creek
04/16/24 Turnagain Observation: Cornbiscuit
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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.