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Issued
Mon, April 11th, 2011 - 7:00AM
Expires
Tue, April 12th, 2011 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
Wendy Wagner
Avalanche risk The Bottom Line

Good morning backcountry travelers. This is Wendy Wagner with the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center on Monday, April 11th 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).

BOTTOM LINE

The avalanche danger today is MODERATE for persistent slab avalanches on steep upper elevation slopes. Mid and lower elevations have a generally LOW danger. Any new snow today should be minimal but areas picking up more than a few inches will have an increased hazard with new snow sluffing likely.

AVALANCHE DISCUSSION

Several folks were out and about yesterday with many finding some nice soft snow and good turns on northerly aspects. A stout sun crust sits on the southern half of the compass.

The main concern again for today is persistent slab avalanches. These are becoming less likely but most prone in upper elevation steep slopes that lack a surface crust. There are a few weak layers still showing signs of concern out there but are becoming harder to trigger. Safe travel practices, for example exposing only one person at a time, is key in the case one of these slabs breaks loose.

There is a chance we may see a couple inches of new snow, maybe more in isolated areas. In this case new snow sluffing will be likely but manageable. Watch for winds associated with the new snow, especially on ridges, as these will quickly create soft sensitive wind slabs.

Wet snow avalanches are possible at lower elevations with warmer temperatures as well as areas with a chance for rain on snow.

Encyclopedia of avalanche terms.

WEATHER ROUNDUP

Yesterday saw mostly sunny skies with clouds building in in the afternoon (along with a brief graupel storm in Girdwood). Temperatures were in the upper 20’s on the ridgelines and around 40F near 1000′ with light winds. A few clouds have lingered overnight and temperatures have dropped into the mid 20’s at most locations. Today we should see mostly cloudy skies with a chance for precipitation to move through with a possibility of 1-3 inches of snow falling, mainly in the afternoon. Temperatures should be a bit cooler today, in the mid 20’s at 3500′ and mid 30’s at 1000′. Expect winds to be light from the southeast with gusts around 20mph on the ridge tops.

Jon 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 AKDT MON APR 11 2011

.TODAY…NUMEROUS SNOW SHOWERS. SNOW ACCUMULATION UP TO 2

INCHES…MAINLY AT HIGHER ELEVATIONS. HIGHS IN THE UPPER 30S TO LOWER

40S. LIGHT WINDS.

.TONIGHT…NUMEROUS SNOW SHOWERS IN THE EVENING…THEN SCATTERED

SNOW SHOWERS AFTER MIDNIGHT. SNOW ACCUMULATION UP TO 1 INCH. LOWS

IN THE MID TEENS TO LOWER 30S…COOLEST INLAND. VARIABLE WIND

10 MPH.

.TUESDAY…MOSTLY CLOUDY. ISOLATED SNOW SHOWERS IN THE MORNING…

THEN ISOLATED RAIN AND SNOW SHOWERS IN THE AFTERNOON. HIGHS IN THE

MID 30S TO MID 40S. LIGHT WINDS.

.TUESDAY NIGHT…MOSTLY CLOUDY. ISOLATED SNOW SHOWERS IN THE

EVENING. LOWS IN THE 20S. VARIABLE WIND 10 MPH EXCEPT NORTH 10 TO

20 MPH NEAR SEWARD.

.WEDNESDAY…PARTLY CLOUDY. HIGHS IN THE MID 30S TO LOWER 40S.

VARIABLE WIND 10 MPH EXCEPT NORTH 10 TO 20 MPH NEAR SEWARD.

TEMPERATURE / PRECIPITATION

SEWARD 41 27 42 / 60 60 20

GIRDWOOD 40 20 41 / 60 60 0

WEATHER STATION SUMMARY for Turnagain Pass:

-3800′ Sunburst Wx Station-

Currently 20 degrees. NE wind 7mph gusting to the mid teens.

-2600′ Seattle Ridge Wx Station-

Currently 24 degrees. SE wind 10mph gusting to the mid teens.

-1800′ Center Ridge Wx Station-

Currently 25 degrees. No new snow.

Mon, April 11th, 2011
Alpine
Above 2,500'
2 - Moderate
Avalanche risk
Treeline
1,000'-2,500'
2 - Moderate
Avalanche risk
Below Treeline
Below 1,000'
2 - Moderate
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.