|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|
Although unlikely, there remains a chance that a person could trigger a deep slab avalanche 6’ deep or deeper, failing on weak snow at the ground at elevations above 2500’. Before stepping out into bigger terrain today, consider the consequence of triggering a large avalanche. These avalanches are difficult to predict for a few reasons:
At some point– hopefully sometime soon– we will be able to tuck this problem away as an additional concern. For now, we are still finding weak snow at the ground, and we are actually getting some stability tests to fail in this layer, making this our primary concern for today. Be aware that the most likely places to trigger a large avalanche failing near the ground will be in the areas with the thinnest snowpack. This could be on slopes that have been wind scoured at some point this season, or in steep and rocky terrain. The total snow depth also gets thinner as you head south from Turnagain Pass. Be aware that if you trigger a deep slab avalanche in a shallow spot on a slope, it can propagate into deeper snow.
Tincan. This avalanche occurred almost two weeks ago, but similar avalanches are still a concern for now. Photo: Matthew Howard. 12.04.2020
As always, use safe travel protocol to minimize your risk while you are out. Be on the lookout for clear signs of unstable snow like shooting cracks or whumpfs, only expose one person at a time to avalanche terrain (including runout zones), and keep an eye on your partners from a safe spot if you do choose to ski or snowmachine in steep terrain. You will also want to be aware of lingering wind slabs from the past few days, and continue to give cornices plenty of space. The mountains closer to Girdwood have received 6-8” of low-density snow since Monday morning, and although that will not be enough to bump up the avalanche danger, it may be enough snow to create loose dry avalanches that could knock you off your feet.
Yesterday: Yesterday brought 4” new snow to Alyeska and 1-2” at Turnagain pass, with winds staying around 5 mph or lower. Temperatures reached into the mid- to upper 20’s F with lows in the high teens at upper elevations and the low 30’s F with lows in the mid- to upper 20’s F at lower elevations.
Today: Mountain temperatures are expected to drop throughout the day, reaching the high teens F by this afternoon at upper elevations and staying in the mid 20’s F at lower elevations. Low temperatures tonight will be around 10 F at upper elevations and 20 F in the valleys. Skies will be partly cloudy, with clouds clearing throughout the day. We are expecting light westerly winds around 5-10 mph, with little or no precipitation.
Tomorrow: We have a chance of light snow tomorrow, with 1-4” possible in the mountains. Temperatures should stay cold enough to keep snow at sea level. Easterly winds are expected to pick up slightly to 10-15 mph, with high temperatures around 20 F at upper elevations and 30 F at low elevations.
PRECIPITATION 24-hour data (6am – 6am)
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||26||1||0.1||59|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||26||1||0.1||25|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||26||2*||0.2*||62*|
*Last update at 1:00 a.m.
RIDGETOP 24-hour data (6am – 6am)
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||23||–||0||–|
|01/23/21||Turnagain||Observation: Seattle Ridge||A Schauer Forecaster|
|01/23/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan Trees||Matti Silta|
|01/22/21||Turnagain||Observation: JOHNSON PASS||Anonymous|
|01/20/21||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst||Johnston-Bloom / Roberts Forecaster|
|01/19/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Cornbiscuit||Schauer/ Johnston-Bloom Forecaster|
|01/19/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Sunburst and Tincan||CNFAIC Staff|
|01/19/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Seattle Ridge||CNFAIC Staff|
|01/19/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan 2900′ SW aspect below Hippy Bowl.||Kris Marshall|
|01/18/21||Turnagain||Observation: Turnagain Pass Road Obs.||A Schauer Forecaster|
|01/16/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan Trees||A Schauer 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: 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.