Good morning backcountry travelers this is Carl Skustad with the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center on Saturday, December 26 at 7 am. This will serve as a general backcountry avalanche advisory issued for the Turnagain Arm area with Turnagain Pass as the core advisory area (advisory does not apply to highways, railroads, or operating ski areas).
Placer River will close to motorized use do to heavy rains.
Current alpine winds are averaging 10 to 30 and gusting 30-40 out of the SE. Rain fell in most of the advisory area yesterday. Limited snow accumulations due to the high rain line. 3-6 inches fell above 2500 feet. Strong winds continued yesterday.
-The Center Ridge Wx Station at 1800 feet/Turnagain Pass-
recorded 0 inches of new snow and .5 inches of water in the last 24 hours. The current temp is 31 F (5 degrees colder than yesterday) with a total snowpack depth of 63 inches, down 5 inches since yesterday.
-The Sunburst Wx Station at 3800 feet/Turnagain Pass-
is showing 16 mph winds out of the E, with gusts of 24-54 mph. The current temperature is 25 deg F
-The Summit Lake Wx Station at 1200 feet-
recorded 0 inches of new snow and .1 inches of water in the last 24 hours. The current temp is 32F ( 2 degrees colder than yesterday) with a total snowpack depth of 31 inches, 2 less than yesterday.
-The Fresno Ridge Wx Station at 3400 feet/Summit Lake-
is showing 26 mph winds with gust of 28-47 mph out of the SE.
Two low pressure systems in the gulf continue spinning shortwave precipitation at us. Heavy cloud cover and precip on the radar and satellite again this morning. Expect more rain and soggy conditions today. The snow line dropped slightly last night to 2000 ft. Rain continues to fall at the highway elevation in Turnagain Pass.
The weather forecast for:
WESTERN PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND-
500 AM AKST SAT DEC 26 2009
.TODAY…RAIN. HIGHS IN THE MID 30S TO LOWER 40S. NORTH AND EAST WIND
TO 15 MPH EXCEPT EAST 20 TO 30 MPH THROUGH PORTAGE VALLEY AND
.TONIGHT…RAIN AND SNOW. NO SNOW ACCUMULATION. LOWS IN THE 30S.
NORTH AND EAST WIND TO 15 MPH EXCEPT EAST 25 TO 35 MPH THROUGH
PORTAGE VALLEY AND TURNAGAIN ARM.
.SUNDAY…RAIN. HIGHS IN THE MID 30S TO LOWER 40S. NORTH TO EAST WIND
TO 10 MPH EXCEPT EAST 20 TO 30 MPH THROUGH PORTAGE VALLEY AND
.SUNDAY NIGHT…RAIN AND SNOW SHOWERS. LOWS IN THE 30S. EAST WIND 10
TO 15 MPH.
.MONDAY…CLOUDY WITH ISOLATED RAIN AND SNOW SHOWERS. HIGHS IN THE
30S. EAST WIND 10 TO 15 MPH.
.MONDAY NIGHT…MOSTLY CLOUDY. LOWS 25 TO 35.
TEMPERATURE / PRECIPITATION
SEWARD 41 37 39 / 80 80 80
GIRDWOOD 42 40 40 / 80 80 80
Today’s avalanche hazard is MODERATE. Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully. Natural avalanches unlikely; human triggered avalanches possible.
We obviously have some crazy warm weather and precip working on our snowpack. We have a couple of weak layers in our snowpack. The surface hoar buried 1-2 feet and the recent storm snow interface. I think that the strong winds have hammered our snowpack long enough that there is little snow left for transport. All the SE aspects are stripped of snow.
Lisa will issue the advisory tomorrow morning at 7am. If you get out in the backcountry give us a call at 754-2369 or send us your observations using the button at the top of this page