Turnagain Pass Avalanche Forecast
The avalanche danger remains MODERATE today, as there is a lingering possibility of triggering an avalanche 1-3’ deep on weak snow buried earlier this month. The most likely places to find unstable snow will be in steep terrain with stiff snow at the surface. In addition to the persistent weak layers, light northwesterly winds may form thin but sensitive wind slabs that are not expected to be large, but could be easy to trigger. Safe travel today will require paying attention to surface conditions and avoiding steep slopes with stiff snow on top.
SNUG HARBOR/LOST LAKE/SEWARD: Stronger winds are once again expected closer to Seward, increasing the likelihood of wind slab avalanches. Extra caution is advised in the mountains around Snug Harbor, Lost Lake and Seward.
|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|
Our main concern today is the lingering potential to trigger an avalanche 1-3’ deep on the layer of buried surface hoar and near-surface facets that were buried about two weeks ago. As we move further out from the last major loading event, these weak grain types are slowly gaining strength, becoming more stubborn and difficult to trigger. Although the likelihood for triggering these avalanches is decreasing, we still do not have the confidence to forget about this problem. The most likely place to run into trouble will be in terrain that has been recently wind-loaded, with relatively stiff snow sitting on top of relatively soft snow. It may also be a bit more sensitive on steep southerly aspects, where there are weak facets above and below a sun crust that formed earlier in the month. If you are trying to step out into steep terrain today, you can minimize your risk by being mindful of safe travel protocol:
Wind Slabs: Winds have shifted back to the northwest. With speeds expected to stay in the 5-15 mph range, we might see some smaller wind slabs forming today. Be on the lookout for signs of wind loading, and avoid steep slopes that are being actively loaded.
Sluffs: Steep slopes that have been sheltered from the wind have around a foot or more of loose snow sitting on top of firm surfaces. It will be easy to trigger dry loose avalanches today, and they can pick up enough volume and speed to carry a person. While it is unlikely they will be big enough to bury you, they can be dangerous if they drag you into terrain traps like cliffs, trees, rocks, or gullies.
Buried weak layers in the upper snowpack from a snowpit in Zero Bowl. 03.21.2021
Yesterday: Skies were cloudy with high temperatures in the low teens to upper 20’s F. Low temperatures were in the single digits to mid teens F, and all the way down to -8 F near Portage yesterday morning. Easterly winds were 5-15 mph at ridgetops with gusts to 33 mph. No precipitation was recorded.
Today: We are expecting mostly sunny skies as winds shift back to the northwest at 5-15 mph. High temperatures are expected in the upper teens to mid 20s F, with lows in the single digits to low teens F tonight. No precipitation is expected today.
Tomorrow: Winds are expected to be calm for most of the day, increasing slightly and shifting back to the east in the afternoon. Skies are expected to start out mostly sunny, with increasing cloud cover in the afternoon. High temperatures are expected to be in the upper teens to mid 20s F, and no precipitation is expected.
PRECIPITATION 24-hour data (6am – 6am)
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||21||0||0||112|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||17||0||0||45|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||20||0||0||115|
RIDGETOP 24-hour data (6am – 6am)
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||13||SE||8||25|
|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|
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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.