|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|
A unique weather system is just moving in this morning that should bring a fairly widespread snowfall event region-wide. In our area of the Eastern Turnagain Arm, between 4-6″ of snow, with more in favored locations, is expected to fall by this evening. Although this isn’t a lot to write home about, the flow direction (northwesterly) is such that we could see some bands of snow produce much more than 6″. As far as new avalanche issues go, the winds are really the game changer. A northwest wind is expected to develop today and blow in the 15-20 mph range by noon(ish) before increasing to the 25mph range tonight. These are prime wind slab development speeds in areas seeing the winds. With not a whole lot of new snow to work with, there is plenty of loose existing surface snow to move around; especially with the flow from the northwest. Hence, watching for the winds and any wind deposited snow will be the key today.
Any new wind slab should be touchy, yet relatively shallow and many could not pose much of a problem. However, watching for those larger slabs up to a foot thick or more is where things could become unmanageable. Stiff snow over softer snow and cracks that shoot out in the snow around you are clues you’ve found a wind slab.
Areas out of the winds in the core of Turnagain Pass may see some shallow sluffs and a generally LOW avalanche danger. If venturing to areas with a thinner snowpack, know there is some funny business at the base of the pack – discussed below.
You may have noticed the NWS has a new radar product that has replaced the older radar loops. Green means snowfall, note the bands of snow this morning. It takes a bit of patience to load, but it will be interesting to see how these bands move around today!
In areas with a much shallower snowpack than Turnagain Pass, such as Crow Pass outside of Girdwood and the southern end of Turnagain Pass (Lynx Ck, Silvertip) to Summit Lake, that old faceted snow from October at the bottom of the snowpack remains a concern. This is at elevations above 2500’ where there are no mid-pack crusts and the slab on the facets is composed of very hard snow. Snow pit tests and a lack of avalanche activity on this layer for the past two weeks is pointing to it becoming less and less likely to trigger. However, it is still a tricky problem as this structure can produce a dangerous avalanche if someone hits just the wrong thin spot. This is becoming more of an outlier situation, but something we can’t quite forget about, especially in shallow regions. If choosing to totally avoid this situation, simply keep slope angles less than 35 degrees.
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880')||16||0||0||60|
|Summit Lake (1400')||15||0||0||25|
|Alyeska Mid (1700')||18||0||0||60|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400')||14||*N/A||*N/A||*N/A|
|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.