New snow, rain and sustained winds overnight have elevated the avalanche danger. 8-10″ of snow fell at upper elevations in Girdwood and 5-8″ at Turnagain in the last 24 hrs. Winds were easterly 20-30 mph with gusts into the 50s. Unfortunately some of the precipitation has fallen as… yuck, rain to around 1500′, maybe a bit higher. It is 34F at the Center Ridge Snotel (1880′) this morning. Yesterday the balance had not quite been tipped by new snow and wind loading but there was widespread cracking, whumpfing and a recent small natural avalanche observed (red flags). Hand pits showed failure on isolation between new snow and the underlying facets. This weak snow rests either on the ground or overlying a melt-freeze crust near the ground. With the additional snow and wind loading overnight this now sits below a more cohesive slab. Triggering a slab on steep terrain will be likely, especially in leeward, wind loaded areas. This snowpack set-up has the potential to be very touchy. Collapses (whumpfs) may propagate failure over large pieces of terrain and remote triggering an avalanche is possible. Don’t let early season stoke lure you into a dangerous spot. Overall it is still fairly shallow and rocky, getting caught in an avalanche could take you for a very unpleasant ride. Rain falling on this snowpack will also add weight and break up bonds. Wet loose avalanches may run naturally at low elevations in steep channeled terrain.
Quick snowpit at 1000′ near large collapse. Weak facets below new snow.
Cracking in snowpack near skin track, propagating across terrain.
Yesterday was mostly overcast with light precipitation on and off throughout the day. Turnagain saw a few breaks in the clouds. Winds were easterly 10-20 during the day, ramping up overnight into the 30s with gusts into the 50s. Overnight snow picked up and rain fell to around 1500′. 8-10″ of snow fell at upper elevations in Girdwood with .6-1″ of SWE (snow water equivalent). Turnagain picked up 5-8″ at .5 SWE. Temperatures were in the mid 30Fs to mid 20Fs depending on elevation.
Today will be mostly cloudy with snow showers. These showers may be locally heavier at times due to unstable air behind the current front. An additional 1-5″ of snow is forecasted to fall. Winds will be easterly 10-20 mph with gusts into the 30s. Rain/snowline is expected to drop as temperatures cool down in the afternoon/evening. Temperatures will be in the mid 30Fs to mid 20Fs. Light snow showers may continue overnight.
Thursday will be mostly to partly cloudy and cooler with a wind shift to the NW. Temperatures will be in the 20Fs dipping into the teens at night. There is a break in the stormy pattern on Friday before more unsettled weather moves in again over the weekend.
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||34||6||.5||12|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||32||0||0||7|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||32||8||.6||14|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||26||rimed||rimed||rimed|
|05/06/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Pastoral Peak, north face||Andy Duenow|
|04/10/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Wolverine||Mike Records|
|04/10/20||Turnagain||Observation: Eddies lookers right shoulder||Matt Yoder|
|04/09/20||Turnagain||Observation: Bench Peak||Mike Records|
|04/04/20||Turnagain||Observation: Pete’s North||Anonymous|
|03/26/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan – Proper (SW facing)||CNFAIC Staff|
|03/26/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Seattle Ridge||W Wagner Forecaster|
|03/25/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Sunburst Uptrack @ 2000′||J. Boisvert|
|03/24/20||Turnagain||Observation: Turnagain – Road Observations||W Wagner Forecaster|
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
|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.