|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|
Welcome to winter… ish. It’s currently 40F in Girdwood this morning. After two days of stormy weather precipitation is forecast to decrease today but easterly winds will remain fairly strong. Storm snow avalanches, including wind slabs along ridgelines, storm slabs in the sheltered zones, cornice falls and wet loose snow sluffs where rain is falling, should all be viewed as likely today. It’s a day to carefully evaluate terrain and consequences if an avalanche does release. The mountains need time to adjust.
Red flags to watch for:
– Recent avalanches – Are avalanches occurring today? Was there avalanche activity during the storm?
– Whumpfing (collapsing) of the snowpack
– Shooting cracks, likely to be seen near ridgelines where the wind has formed wind slabs.
Storm totals (beginning Wednesday through 6am Friday):
Turnagain Pass at 1,880′: 1.9″– of water equivalent, roughly 1.5-2′ of snow above treeline
Girdwood Valley at 1,700′: 3.6″ of water equivalent, roughly 2.5-3.5′ above treeline
Portage Valley at sea level: 5.3″ of water equivalent, roughly 5′ of snow above treeline
Summit Lake at 1,400′: 1.2″ of water equivalent, roughly 1′ of snow above treeline.
It is early in the season and overall we have limited snowpack data, especially in the Alpine (above 2500′) where most of the snow fell. What we do know is that the existing snowpack just got a heavy load. The storm was upside down with heavier snow falling on lighter snow or rain falling on snow. The winds were sustained and strong. Caution is advised. There is a long winter ahead. Don’t let early season stoke get the best of you!
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880')||35||1||0.9||15|
|Summit Lake (1400')||34||0||0.3||8|
|Alyeska Mid (1700')||33||5||1.44||20|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400')||NA*||SE*||15*||35*|
|05/18/21||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan Ridge||Joe Kurtak|
|04/30/21||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst||W Wagner Forecaster|
|04/27/21||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan Ridge||Joe Kurtak|
|04/26/21||Turnagain||Observation: Magnum||Creighton/ Hoople|
|04/25/21||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst||Nick D'Alessio|
|04/24/21||Turnagain||Observation: Airplane obs||Johnston-Bloom / DiJulia /Hilliard Forecaster|
|04/24/21||Turnagain||Observation: Corn biscuit||Heather Johnson|
|04/23/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Lynx Ck Drainage||W Wagner Forecaster|
|04/23/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Sunburst||Eeva Latosuo|
|04/23/21||Turnagain||Observation: Center Ridge Turnagain pass||Joe Kurtak|
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.