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).
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.
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.
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-
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
.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.