|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|
With another day of quiet weather expected today, our main concern will be persistent weaknesses in the snowpack. There are two layers to keep in mind today. The first is a variety of weak surfaces in the upper snowpack that were buried by wind slabs during last weekend’s northwest wind event. This includes a layer of surface hoar, and a layer of low-density snow sitting on top of a crust that is about a foot deep in most places. These layers seem to be a problem on isolated slopes at higher elevations, and should heal quickly. They will likely give warning signs like shooting cracks and collapsing if conditions are unstable. The most suspect terrain features will be the ones we commonly look out for during wind loading events- convexities, gullies, and slopes just below ridgelines.
The second is a little more challenging to nail down. We’ve been talking about this October facet layer for over 3 weeks now, and it remains a concern. It has been two weeks since we saw a natural avalanche cycle on this layer, and that streak is likely to continue until we get another big load. But there is still a chance a person can trigger a big avalanche on it. These deeper layers won’t always give the same warning signs like the shallower problems do, and it is possible to trigger an avalanche after there are multiple sets of tracks on a slope. The best way to manage a problem like this is by careful terrain selection, avoiding high-consequence slopes for now and saving bigger terrain for later in the season. The good news is that this weak snow is showing signs of gaining strength and we will hopefully be able to forget about it in the coming weeks.
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Yesterday: Skies cleared after a cloudy start to the day, with high temperatures in the single digits to low teens F during the day, and dropping down to the single digits above and below 0 F overnight. Winds were light out of the west at around 5 mph with gusts around 10 mph. A valley cloud had enough moisture to drop a few snowflakes around Girdwood, but it was not enough for any accumulation.
Today: Winds have increased slightly this morning, but the advisory area is looking to be protected from the northerly winds affecting Southcentral. Winds should stay around 5-10 mph out of the west, as temperatures remain in the single digits to low teens F for one more day. Skies should be mostly clear with a chance of another valley cloud near the Turnagain arm, and no precipitation is expected today.
Tomorrow: Things should remain quiet during the day tomorrow, with increasing cloud cover later in the day as a weak system moves in Wednesday night. Daytime high temperatures should climb back up into the low teens to low 20’s F, with northwesterly winds at 5-10 mph and gusts around 10-15 mph. It is looking like we might pick up an inch or two of snow Wednesday night, along with stronger winds. Stay tuned for more.
PRECIPITATION 24-hour data (6am – 6am)
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||2||0||0||24|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||-4||0||0||13|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||6||0||0||18|
|Bear Valley – Portage (132′)||4||0||0||–|
RIDGETOP 24-hour data (6am – 6am)
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||4||NE||3||9|
|01/29/23||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan Backdoor||AAS-Level 1 1/27-1/30|
|01/28/23||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst||Brooke Edwards|
|01/28/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Seattle Ridge||W Wagner|
|01/28/23||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan Common||Tony Naciuk|
|01/27/23||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst||John Sykes|
|01/27/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Lynx Creek||Megan Guinn / W Wagner|
|01/25/23||Turnagain||Observation: Cornbiscuit||John Sykes Forecaster|
|01/22/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan||Schauer/ Guinn|
|01/21/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Seattle Ridge||Elias Holt|
|01/21/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Lynx drainage – avalanche||CNFAIC Staff|
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.