Good morning. This is Wendy Wagner with the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center on Monday, November 21st 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).
Our next advisory will be issued Wednesday, November 23rd, at 7am. Keep checking the photos/observations link on the right for recent observations and information.
Tuesday, there is chance for 8-12 inches of snow and possibly more in favored locations. Moderate winds will accompany this storm. If the forecast verifies, or intensifies, expect the danger to increase rapidly Tuesday for fresh wind slabs on leeward slopes, soft slab avalanches and new snow sluffing on CNFAIC Staff steep slopes. Human triggered avalanches will be possible. In specific areas receiving more than a foot of new snow with wind natural avalanches will be possible and human triggered avalanches likely.
The new snow is falling on a variety of old snow surfaces. This includes sastrugi, hard supportable wind board, trap door wind crust, thin breakable wind crust and soft recycled powder. Underlying these wind layers is weak faceted snow that formed from the cold temperatures last week. This sugary snow is a potential weak layer when buried, however, most starting zones sport a stout wind hardened surface. The firm snow can act as a great sliding surface for any new snow and fresh wind slabs seen today or, more likely, on Tuesday.
Although it has been three days since the last report of a glide avalanche, this does not mean we are out of the woods. In fact, last year’s glide cycle began at nearly the same time, early November, and lasted into early December. That being said, we could be a couple weeks away from putting the topic to rest. In the meantime, exposure around and below glide cracks and suspicious areas should be limited.
Tuesday anCNFAIC Staff system strengthens in the gulf and, as it looks now, will give us a shot for 8-12 inches of snow, and possibly more in favored locations. This storm brings temperatures back into the teens and ushers in stronger winds, gusting into the 30’s, around 3500′. The NWS has issued a Blizzard Warning. Watch for strong winds at lower elevations along Turnagain Arm and the Seward highway through Tuesday evening.
CNFAIC Weather Page and the NWS forecast
A reminder that all areas for winter snowmachine riding in Chugach National Forest remain closed. Keep checking this website for the latest updates.
We are in the season of Fireside Chats, free avalanche awareness talks from your local avalanche center. Show up on Wednesday nights at 7pm at the Forest Service Ranger Station in Girdwood. More details are on our training and calendar page.
I will issue the next advisory Wednesday, November 23rd, at 7am. If you get out in the backcountry we want to know what you are seeing! Please send us your observations using the button at the top of this page or give us a call at 754-236. Thanks and have a great day.