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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
Tue, April 13th, 2010 - 7:00AM
Expires
Wed, April 14th, 2010 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
CNFAIC Staff
The Bottom Line

Good morning backcountry travelers this is Matt Murphy with the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center on Tuesday April 13th, 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

Skookum Valley and Skookum Glacier are closed to motorized vehicles (snowmachines, helicopters, ATVs) except for subsistence uses.. This closure is directed in the current Chugach National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan. Placer River Drainage remains open for motorized use to Spencer Glacier.

WEATHER ROUNDUP

-The winds are strong to our south at Summit Lake, but light to moderate CNFAIC Staffwise this morning averaging 2-26 mph with some extreme gusts up to 47mph down at Fresno Ridge

-The 24 hour snotel sites are reporting:

-0.2 inches of water, 3-4inches of new snow, and 3” of melting/settlement at 1800′ at Turnagain Pass

-0.3 inches of water, 2 inches of new snow, and 4” of melting/settlement 1100′ at Grandview

-0.3 inches of water, 3 inches of new snow, and 0 inches of melting/settlement at 1400′ at Summit Creek.

-This morning’s (5am) radars show lots of precip hitting eastern PWS between Cordova and Valdez

-Temps are starting off about the same this morning at most weather stations as they did yesterday morning. Above freezing temps made it up to 40 degrees at 1800′ yesterday. This morning’s temperature range is 33 degrees F at sea-level and 22 degrees F at 3800′.

AVALANCHE DISCUSSION

Today’s avalanche danger will start out as MODERATE, but could rapidly increase to CONSIDERABLE on any sunny slopes IF the sun comes out like the NWS is forecasting. There should be small to medium sized wind slabs sitting on top of buried surface hoar on top of a sun crust in many places, especially up high in the starting zones.

The primary snowpack concerns today are: recently formed winds slabs sitting on top of a sun crust with buried surface hoar and/or facets on top of that crust. Small to medium human-triggered avalanches are possible on these pockets of instability, and natural avalanches will become possible IF the sun comes out. Recent natural slab avalanches triggered during sunny days have occurred as early as 11am on SE aspects over the past couple of weeks. The warmest ambient air temps yesterday were recorded between 12-3pm.

Before the new precip starting falling Saturday night, surface hoar was observed on Tincan, Pastoral, Twin Peaks, and Pete’s North, and Cornbiscuit. On Sunday we found this surface hoar buried and standing up on a small wind lip on Tincan. This small pocket was very reactive to human triggers. Yesterday, we tried to confirm this same layer of buried surface hoar on Sunburst, but could not find it. We did, however, find facets on top of the most recent sun crust instead of the surface hoar. Recent observations have described this surface hoar as large above 3200′ (up to 1cm).

Even though it has not been actually observed except for on Tincan, it’s a pretty good guess that there will be pockets of buried surface hoar that have survived the recent ridgetop winds. There has not been very much precip lately, but the wind has been moving some enough snow around for some isolated wind slabs.

The sun is the critical “watch out” situation this time of year. April sun and temps can change the snowpack much more drastically than January or February sun. Avalanche danger can increase rapidly during periods rapidly warming temps and direct sunlight especially when the sun hits fresh snow like we have right now.

Glide cracks are secondary concern today. These crevasse like features are those cracks that go all the way to the ground. Avoid traveling underneath these cracks. Glide cracks and full depth release avalanches have been occurring on warm sunny days. We are seeing more and more of these glide cracks form everyday.

WEATHER FORECAST (National Weather Service)

WESTERN PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND-

INCLUDING…WHITTIER…SEWARD…GIRDWOOD…MOOSE PASS

500 AM AKDT TUE APR 13 2010

.TODAY…MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH SCATTERED RAIN AND SNOW SHOWERS

EARLY THIS MORNING…THEN BECOMING MOSTLY SUNNY. HIGHS AROUND 40.

SOUTH TO WEST WIND 10 TO 20 MPH.

.TONIGHT…INCREASING CLOUDS WITH SNOW DEVELOPING AFTER MIDNIGHT.

SNOW ACCUMULATION 1 TO 3 INCHES. LOWS IN THE MID 20S TO LOWER 30S.

VARIABLE WIND TO 10 MPH.

.WEDNESDAY…SNOW AND RAIN. SNOW ACCUMULATION UP TO 2 INCHES.

HIGHS IN THE 30S. VARIABLE WIND TO 10 MPH.

TEMPERATURE / PRECIPITATION

SEWARD 39 32 37 / 0 80 80

GIRDWOOD 38 31 37 / 30 80 80

Short Term Weather Model Forecasts (NAM, WRF, GFS) for the Kenai Mountains near Turnagain Pass

Sea-level: temps are forecasted between 31-38 and between 0.0-0.05” of water forecasted

3000′: temps are forecasted in the range of 23-32 degrees F with winds 10-20 mph

6000′: temps are forecasted in the range of 14-23 degrees F with winds 20-30 mph

WEATHER STATION SUMMARY for last 24 hours at TURNAGAIN PASS

3800′-Sunburst Wx Station

Temp (5am): 22 (2 degrees colder than yesterday morning)

Winds: In last 24 hours winds have been light-moderate averaging 10-25mph with an extreme max gust of 42mph

HIGH TEMP of 23 between 12-5pm

2600′-Seattle Ridge Wx Station

Temp (5am): 25 (one degree warmer than yesterday morning)

Winds: In last 24 hours have been light to strong averaging 2-32mph with an extreme gust of 48mph

HIGH TEMP of 26 between 11am-4pm

1800′-Center Ridge Wx Station

Temp (5am): 28 (1 degrees colder than yesterday morning)

Precip: 0.2 inches of water, 3-4 inches of new snow

HIGH TEMP 40 at 11am

Thanks for checking today’s avalanche advisory. The next one will be posted tomorrow Wednesday April 14th, 2010.

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Tue, April 13th, 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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Riding Areas
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

Area Status Weather & Riding Conditions
Glacier District
Johnson Pass
Closed
Placer River
Closed
Skookum Drainage
Closed
Turnagain Pass
Closed
Twentymile
Closed
Seward District
Carter Lake
Closed
Lost Lake Trail
Closed
Primrose Trail
Closed
Resurrection Pass Trail
Closed
Snug Harbor
Closed
South Fork Snow River Corridor
Closed
Summit Lake
Closed

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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.