The last known avalanches were small wind slab avalanches that released during the outflow winds 9 days ago.
|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|
It is looking like we are returning to a more active weather pattern this week, starting with a quick pulse today that will likely bring 1-4″ snow with southerly winds getting up to 10-20 mph in the alpine. While this light system will not be enough to produce a widespread avalanche cycle, it will be possible to trigger an avalanche on wind-loaded slopes in the alpine. After over a week of clear skies, there is faceted snow on the surface on most slopes. As this weak snow gets buried today the chances of triggering an avalanche will increase. These may be getting big enough to bury a person by this afternoon.
If you are planning on getting out today, be sure to pay attention to changing conditions and increasing danger as the weather picks up. The most likely place to run into trouble will be in steep, high elevation terrain just below ridgelines, on convex rolls, or in steep gullies. Take a minute to step off the skin track to see how conditions are changing. If you feel a layer of dense, stiffer snow on the surface sitting on top of softer snow, you’ve found a wind slab. Watch out for warning signs of unstable snow like cracks shooting out from your feet, or collapsing. For elevations at and below treeline, it is unlikely the wind will pick up enough to increase the avalanche danger.
For those of you that have been following along with the advisories this season, those deeper persistent weak layers that we have been talking about for the past few weeks are still present. The good news is that they are gaining strength, and for now, it is unlikely this light load today will add enough stress to the snowpack to impact them.
Dry Loose Avalanches (Sluffs): In areas that have remained protected from recent winds, it will be easy to trigger dry loose avalanches in steep terrain. It is unlikely these avalanches will get big enough to bury a person, but they can become dangerous in high-consequence terrain.
Yesterday’s recycled powder will turn into today’s weak layer. The faceted snow that has been skiing well for the past few days will start getting buried today, making for reactive wind slabs as the weather picks up. Photo from Seattle Ridge, 12.03.2022
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Yesterday: We had a pretty strong temperature inversion yesterday, with temperatures in the single digits to low teens F in the valleys, and reaching the upper 20’s to low 30’s near ridgelines. There were some high altitude clouds and winds were light out of variable directions.
Today: Things should get a little more active today as a weak system moves in. We should see 1-4″ snow for our forecast zone, with Girdwood seeing a little bit more than Turnagain Pass. The rain level will start as high as 1600′, but it is looking to drop quickly as precipitation picks up. Southerly winds will get up to 10-20 mph in the alpine, with temperatures in the upper 20’s to low 30’s F during the day and in the low 20’s overnight.
Tomorrow: A second round of precipitation is on the way for tomorrow, with another 3-5″ expected starting later Tuesday through Tuesday night. Winds should stay around 10-15 mph and switch to a more easterly direction as precipitation picks up. Skies should remain mostly cloudy through tomorrow night. Temperatures should stay in the 20’s F tomorrow, and it is looking like the snow line will drop to sea level.
PRECIPITATION 24-hour data (6am – 6am)
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||24||0||0||23|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||15||0||0||14|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||26||0||0||19|
|Bear Valley (132′)||14||0||0||–|
RIDGETOP 24-hour data (6am – 6am)
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||25||SW||3||10|
|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.