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Turnagain Pass Avalanche Forecast RSS

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ARCHIVED FORECAST - All forecasts expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
Issued
Sat, March 27th, 2010 - 7:00AM
Expires
Sun, March 28th, 2010 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
CNFAIC Staff
The Bottom Line

Good morning backcountry travelers this is Carl Skustad with the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center on Saturday March 27th, 2010 at 7 am. This will serve as 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).

ANNOUNCEMENTS

This week is Telepalooza week at Alyeska Resort. There are lots of great events and a fundraiser for the Friends of the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center. Check Alyeska Resort’s webpage or www.telepalooza.com for a detailed schedule of events.

WEATHER ROUNDUP

AnCNFAIC Staff nice day yesterday has lead us to cloud covered skies today. The leading edge of a 966mb L has already passed over our area. Temperatures and winds are currently climbing. The freeze line is forecasted to rise to 1300 ft from it’s current location at sealevel. Winds are also forecasted to increase significantly today. An active weather system with multiple low pressure systems is forcasted for the next week. Snow switching to rain today with 2-5 inches of snow at higher elevations.

AVALANCHE DISCUSSION

Today’s avalanche danger is MODERATE with an increasing danger trend. Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully. Natural avalanches unlikely; human triggered avalanches possible.

We have multiple weak layers in the upper 3 feet of our snowpack. These layers consist of surface hoar on all aspects, and suncrusts on southerly aspects.

A couple more good snow stability tests came in yesterday indicating that our weak layers are not going away. The very dynamic nature of a spring snowpack require diligent snow analysis. Good snow stability in one couloir means nothing about the snow stability right around the corner.

Likely areas to trigger avalanches today include: steep hanging alpine snowfields near ridgetops and steep convex rollovers.

There are three main problem layers in the snowpack right now:

1. A sun crust with surface hoar on top is buried under Tuesday’s new 4-6 inches of new snow. We observed surface hoar on top of this crust in multiple locations. This layer could create small human-triggered avalanches on steep slopes where wind has deposited deeper snow.

2. A sun crust that is buried 2-3 feet deep (we have observed surface hoar near this crust) We have been finding moderate to hard failures with smooth shear planes on top and underneath this crust. It might become more reactive with a heavier load on top of it, or small avalanches might step down to this layer making medium sized avalanches.

3. Multiple layers of buried surface hoar in the top 1-3 feet of snow

There is a lot of spatial variability in the snowpack right now including multiple layers of buried surface hoar and buried suncrusts in the top 3 feet of snow. At lower elevations, there is a 1 inch thick breakable crust on all aspects up to about 1500-2000′ which is now buried under 4-6 inches of wet snow. Mid elevations to ridge top elevations generally have multiple buried suncrusts on southern aspects, but these crusts are very aspect-dependent and do not wrap around to CNFAIC Staff aspects. The uppermost suncrust was thin but it had surface hoar on top of it. Northern aspects at Turnagain Pass are generally thin, cold, and faceted especially in rocky areas.

Glide cracks are secondary concern today. These crevasse like features are those cracks that go all the way to the ground. One of these glide cracks avalanched a week ago on the southern aspect of Tincan to the lookers left of Tincan Proper (see photo gallery).

WEATHER FORECAST (National Weather Service)

WESTERN PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND-

INCLUDING…WHITTIER…SEWARD…GIRDWOOD…MOOSE PASS

500 AM AKDT SAT MAR 27 2010

…STRONG WIND THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH THIS EVENING THROUGH

PORTAGE VALLEY AND TURNAGAIN ARM…

.TODAY…RAIN AND SNOW IN THE MORNING…THEN RAIN SHOWERS IN THE

AFTERNOON. SNOW ACCUMULATION UP TO 2 INCHES…MAINLY AT HIGHER

ELEVATIONS. HIGHS AROUND 40. EAST WIND 10 TO 20 MPH INCREASING

TO 20 TO 35 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 50 MPH THROUGH PORTAGE VALLEY AND

TURNAGAIN ARM.

.TONIGHT…RAIN SHOWERS. LOWS IN THE 30S. EAST WIND 20 TO 35 MPH

DIMINISHING TO 10 TO 25 MPH AFTER MIDNIGHT. GUSTS TO 50 MPH

THROUGH PORTAGE VALLEY AND TURNAGAIN ARM IN THE EVENING.

.SUNDAY…RAIN SHOWERS. HIGHS IN THE LOWER TO MID 40S. EAST

WIND 10 TO 20 MPH.

.SUNDAY NIGHT…RAIN SHOWERS LIKELY AND A CHANCE OF SNOW SHOWERS.

LOWS IN THE 30S. NORTH TO EAST WIND 10 TO 15 MPH.

.MONDAY…CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF RAIN AND SNOW SHOWERS.

HIGHS IN THE UPPER 30S TO MID 40S. NORTH TO EAST WIND 10 TO 15 MPH.

TEMPERATURE / PRECIPITATION

SEWARD 41 35 43 / 100 80 80

GIRDWOOD 39 36 41 / 100 80 80

WEATHER STATION SUMMARY for last 24 hours at TURNAGAIN PASS

3800′-Sunburst Wx Station

19 degrees F, 19 mph wind averages with gust to 32. Winds are increasing and easterly.

2600′-Seattle Ridge Wx Station

23 degrees F, 14 mph wind averages with gusts to 27. Winds are increasing and southeasterly.

1800′-Center Ridge Wx Station

26 degrees F, 0 new snow, 128 inches of total snowpack.

Thanks for checking today’s avalanche advisory. Lisa will update this advisory tomorrow morning by 0700. Thanks and have a great day.

Thanks to our sponsors!
Sat, March 27th, 2010
Alpine
Above 2,500'
Moderate (2)
Avalanche risk
Treeline
1,000'-2,500'
Moderate (2)
Avalanche risk
Below Treeline
Below 1,000'
Moderate (2)
Avalanche risk
Alpine
Above 2,500'
Avalanche risk
Moderate (2)
Treeline
1,000'-2,500'
Avalanche risk
Moderate (2)
Below Treeline
Below 1,000'
Avalanche risk
Moderate (2)
Danger Scale:
No Rating (0)
Low (1)
Moderate (2)
Considerable (3)
High (4)
Extreme (5)
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Updated Mon, October 26th, 2020

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: mailroom_r10_chugach@fs.fed.us

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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.