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ARCHIVED - Forecasts expire after 24 hours.
Issued
Thu, December 2nd, 2010 - 7:00AM
Expires
Fri, December 3rd, 2010 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
Kevin Wright
Avalanche risk The Bottom Line

Good morning backcountry travelers this is Kevin Wright with the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center on Wednesday, December 2nd 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).

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Turnagain Pass and Johnson Pass North Trailhead motorized areas are open for snowmachine use. Adequate snow is present to prevent resource damage. These areas consist of the lands on the west side of the Seward Highway between the Turnagain Arm and Sixmile Creek and the drainage southwest of Bench Creek adjacent to the Johnson Pass North Trailhead south to Bench Lake. Center and Divide Creek drainages are closed to snowmachine use. All CNFAIC Staff areas of the Glacier District are closed to motorized use until adequate snow falls to prevent resource damage.

CNFAIC Staff areas in the Seward District are also open to motorized use. Check the Riding Updates at the bottom of the page for the latest updates.

WEATHER ROUNDUP

-Wind was light through most of the region in the last 24 hours. Highest recorded gust was 24 mph at the 43 mile weather station.

-A temperature inversion has formed over much of the area. Low areas such as Portage and Summit were showing negative temps, while some ridgetop stations reached 20 degrees.

-High pressure and cold temps have been contributing to surface hoar formation.

AVALANCHE DISCUSSION

Today the avalanche hazard will be LOW. Areas with wind loaded pockets will have a MODERATE rating. Expect heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features.

The overall feel of our snowpack hasn’t changed over the last few days. The main concern today continues to be wind slab on top of the Thanksgiving Rain Crust. Watch out for this near the ridge tops where wind has deposited pillows of deeper snow. It could be possible to trigger an avalanche by a skier or rider in these wind loaded areas.

We have noticed surface hoar forming in the Turnagain pass area, especially near the valley floor. The next snow storm, possibly starting tomorrow, could bury this layer and cause unstable conditions. We will be watching this layer closely today and as the next snowfall happens.

We are still in an active glide avalanche cycle that has been going on for the past 3 weeks. Be aware of your travel routes and try to avoid spending time below the gaping cracks. New glide avalanches are still happening, although the frequency seems to be declining.

Matt 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

INCLUDING…WHITTIER…SEWARD…GIRDWOOD…MOOSE PASS

500 AM AKST THU DEC 2 2010

…BLIZZARD WATCH IN EFFECT FROM FRIDAY MORNING THROUGH FRIDAY

AFTERNOON…

.TODAY…MOSTLY CLOUDY IN THE MORNING THEN BECOMING PARTLY CLOUDY.

HIGHS IN THE TEENS INLAND AND IN THE 20S ALONG THE COAST. NORTH TO

WEST WIND INCREASING TO 10 TO 20 MPH. GUSTS TO 30 MPH NEAR SEWARD

AND WHITTIER IN THE AFTERNOON.

.TONIGHT…MOSTLY CLEAR IN THE EVENING…THEN INCREASING CLOUDS

AFTER MIDNIGHT. LOWS ZERO TO 10 ABOVE EXCEPT IN THE TEENS ALONG

THE COAST. VARIABLE WIND 10 MPH. NEAR SEWARD AND WHITTIER…NORTH

AND WEST WIND 10 TO 25 MPH IN THE EVENING BECOMING LIGHT.

.FRIDAY…SNOW…MIXING WITH RAIN ALONG THE COAST IN THE AFTERNOON.

PRECIPITATION MAY BE HEAVY AT TIMES. SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW MAY

REDUCE VISIBILITIES TO LESS THAN ONE QUARTER MILE OR LESS AT

TIMES…ESPECIALLY FROM TURNAGAIN PASS TO PORTAGE VALLEY AND

TURNAGAIN ARM. SNOW ACCUMULATION 6 TO 12 INCHES. HIGHS AROUND 30.

SOUTH TO EAST WIND INCREASING TO 20 TO 40 MPH EXCEPT 45 TO 60 MPH

THROUGH PORTAGE VALLEY AND TURNAGAIN ARM.

.FRIDAY NIGHT…SNOW TAPERING TO SCATTERED SNOW SHOWERS. LOWS IN

THE LOWER 20S TO LOWER 30S. SOUTH TO EAST WIND 20 TO 40 MPH

BECOMING SOUTH 10 TO 25 MPH BY MID EVENING. THROUGH PORTAGE

VALLEY AND TURNAGAIN ARM…SOUTHEAST WIND 35 TO 50 MPH DECREASING

TO 15 TO 30 MPH BY LATE EVENING.

.SATURDAY…SNOW SHOWERS LIKELY. HIGHS IN THE UPPER 20S TO MID 30S.

SOUTHEAST WIND 15 MPH.

.SATURDAY NIGHT…MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF SNOW SHOWERS.

LOWS IN THE 20S.

.SUNDAY THROUGH TUESDAY…MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF SNOW.

HIGHS 25 TO 35. LOWS IN THE 20S.

.TUESDAY NIGHT…SNOW LIKELY. LOWS IN THE 20S.

.WEDNESDAY…SNOW LIKELY. HIGHS 25 TO 35.

TEMPERATURE / PRECIPITATION

SEWARD 27 17 33 / 0 0 100

GIRDWOOD 12 2 31 / 0 0 100

WEATHER STATION SUMMARY for Turnagain Pass:

-3800 Sunburst Wx Station-

Wind dropped to a light breeze this morning. Temperatures rose to the high teens.

-2600 Seattle Ridge Wx Station-

Temperatures rose to the high teens. Wind stayed mostly in the single digits with a couple of spikes.

-1800 Center Ridge Wx Station-

No new snow. Temperatures have risen 10 degrees to the high teens.

Thu, December 2nd, 2010
Alpine
Above 2,500'
1 - Low
Avalanche risk
Treeline
1,000'-2,500'
1 - Low
Avalanche risk
Below Treeline
Below 1,000'
1 - Low
Avalanche risk
0 - No Rating
1 - Low
2 - Moderate
3 - Considerable
4 - High
5 - Extreme
Avalanche risk Avalanche risk Avalanche risk Avalanche risk Avalanche risk
Travel Advice Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features. Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern. Dangerous avalanche conditions. Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious route-finding, and conservative decision-making essential. Very dangerous avalanche conditions. Travel in avalanche terrain not recommended. Extraordinarily dangerous avalanche conditions. Avoid all avalanche terrain.
Likelihood of Avalanches Natural and human-triggered avalanches unlikely. Natural avalanches unlikely; human-triggered avalanches possible. Natural avalanches possible; human-triggered avalanches likely. Natural avalanches likely; human-triggered avalanches very likely. Natural and human-triggered avalanches certain.
Avalanche Size and Distribution Small avalanches in isolated areas or extreme terrain. Small avalanches in specific areas; or large avalanches in isolated areas. Small avalanches in many areas; or large avalanches in specific areas; or very large avalanches in isolated areas. Large avalanches in many areas; or very large avalanches in specific areas. Very large avalanches in many areas.
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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.