Good morning backcountry travelers this is Kevin Wright with the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center on Tuesday, November 16th at 7am. 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).
All areas designated for snowmachines are still closed. We are measuring the snow in these areas daily and will open them as soon as there is enough snow to protect the ground and vegetation from being torn up by the tracks of a snowmachine. Thanks for your patience.
We have had no new snow since Friday the 12th. The major changes in last 24 hours are high wind at the ridge tops and a significant drop in temperature. The wind is transporting snow and contributing to the wind slabs we’ve been seeing since Friday. Wind gusts were measured as high as 61mph at mile 43 station last night. Temperatures dropped into the low single digits overnight at 3000 ft.
The avalanche danger rating will stay at LOW with pockets of MODERATE hazard. The overall feel of the snowpack hasn’t changed much in the last several days. Wind slabs at the ridge tops are an area of concern for backcountry travelers and that concern has increased with high wind overnight. One party reported a skier triggered slide on Saturday involving wind slab on Superbowl peak. The slab broke 1-2 feet deep, 60-80 feet wide and fell 800 vertical feet. Lisa and I found these semi-sensitive pockets on Sunburst yesterday and observed a couple of small isolated skier triggered slabs on adjacent peaks. Be careful on more committing terrain with bad consequences. These wind slabs are large enough to cause trouble if caught off guard.
The glide cracks and glide avalanches continue to be present, with new ones being observed region-wide on a daily basis. Be aware of your travel routes and try to avoid spending time below the cracks. Research has shown it is nearly impossible to predict when these cracks will release. The only way to reduce your risk from glide avalanches is to avoid traveling below the obvious cracks.
I will issue the next 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. Thanks and have a great day.
The NWS weather forecast for:
WESTERN PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND-
500 AM AKST TUE NOV 16 2010
…STRONG WIND THROUGH LATE TONIGHT NEAR SEWARD AND WHITTIER…
.TODAY…PARTLY CLOUDY IN THE MORNING THEN BECOMING MOSTLY SUNNY.
HIGHS IN THE LOWER 20S TO LOWER 30S. NORTHWEST WIND 10 TO 20 MPH.
NEAR SEWARD…NORTH WIND 30 TO 45 MPH. NEAR WHITTIER…WEST WIND 30
TO 50 MPH.
.TONIGHT…CLEAR. LOWS 5 TO 20 ABOVE…COOLEST INLAND. NORTHWEST
WIND 10 TO 20 MPH. NEAR SEWARD…NORTH WIND 30 TO 45 MPH. NEAR
WHITTIER…WEST WIND 30 TO 50 MPH.
.WEDNESDAY…MOSTLY SUNNY. HIGHS IN THE LOWER 20S TO LOWER 30S.
NORTHWEST WIND 10 TO 15 MPH. NEAR SEWARD…NORTH WIND 20 TO 30 MPH.
NEAR WHITTIER…WEST WIND 20 TO 30 MPH.
.WEDNESDAY NIGHT…MOSTLY CLEAR. LOWS IN THE MID TEENS TO LOWER
30S. NORTHWEST WIND 10 TO 25 MPH.
.THURSDAY…PARTLY CLOUDY. HIGHS IN THE UPPER 20S TO UPPER 30S.
NORTHWEST WIND 10 TO 20 MPH.
.THURSDAY NIGHT…MOSTLY CLEAR. LOWS 15 TO 25.
.FRIDAY AND FRIDAY NIGHT…MOSTLY CLEAR. HIGHS 25 TO 35. LOWS
15 TO 25.
.SATURDAY AND SATURDAY NIGHT…PARTLY CLOUDY. HIGHS 25 TO 35.
LOWS 15 TO 25.
.SUNDAY…MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF SNOW. HIGHS IN THE 30S.
.SUNDAY NIGHT AND MONDAY…CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF SNOW AND RAIN.
LOWS 15 TO 25. HIGHS IN THE 30S.
TEMPERATURE / PRECIPITATION
SEWARD 30 18 32 / 0 0 0
GIRDWOOD 25 8 26 / 0 0 0
WEATHER STATION SUMMARY for Turnagain Pass:
-3800′ Sunburst Wx Station-
Wind readings are not consistent with CNFAIC Staff area stations, there may be technical problems. Yesterday the 500 am temperature was 18, and it has decreased steadily since then to 2 degrees this morning.
-2600′ Seattle Ridge Wx Station-
Wind speeds were strong with averages up to 32 yesterday afternoon and max gust to 44. Direction was primarily from the NW. Temperatures decreasing to 6 above this morning.
-1800′ Center Ridge Wx Station-
Recorded no new snow in the last 24 hours. Current temperature is 10 degrees, also showing the steady decreasing trend in the last 24 hours. Total snow depth has settled anCNFAIC Staff inch since yesterday to 49 inches. 113″ inches of snow fell from Nov. 1-12.