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).
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.
-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.
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
500 AM AKST THU DEC 2 2010
…BLIZZARD WATCH IN EFFECT FROM FRIDAY MORNING THROUGH FRIDAY
.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.