Snowfall totals in the mountains are expected to be 10-18 inches today, with another 10-16 inches tonight. East wind at ridgetops will be 50-75mph. If this proves true, avalanche danger will reach HIGH sometime late today. Fresh snowfall and high wind will create wind slabs at upper elevations. The timing of the storm may catch people off guard as they try to use the Saturday opportunity before the accumulation gets too deep. With the blizzard warning in effect and a very weak base snowpack, it will not take a lot of snow for avalanche conditions to change quickly. Watch the changes as they happen today and be prepared to find a safe route back to the car before it gets too dangerous.
As the storm snow and wind slabs build, they will be resting on top of all the junky facets and surface hoar that built over the last month of cold dry weather. This is a really bad combination, and the first test in quite a long time. Everything about this setup is screaming bad news. All the new snow will fall on 2 feet of collapse-prone ball bearings. We can expect avalanches to behave more dangerously than normal, breaking at the new/old snow interface or at the ground and running far and fast. Propagation potential today will depend on the temperature of the storm (the density of the snow) and the intensity of the wind to build cohesive slabs. Even a small amount of cohesiveness in this new layer will allow for widespread connectivity of the slab.
If you can’t already tell, I’m pretty worried about the storm today!
Yesterday was a cloudless and calm day in the mountains. This morning, temperatures have risen up to 10 degrees in some areas and wind is reaching into the 30s at the ridgetops. As of 6am snowfall has not started in Turnagain Pass or Girdwood, but radar in Prince William Sound is starting to show the precipitation approaching.
The blizzard warning is active across our region starting at 10am, so confidence in this storm is high. Expect snow – 10-18 inches today, and 10-16 inches tonight with 1.5 inches of water equivalent. East wind is expected to blow 50-75mph at the ridgetops. Temperatures will remain below freezing today, with slightly warmer temperatures tomorrow in coastal areas such as Seward and Whittier.
The weather that happens today will drive the overall avalanche danger. What you see is what you get, so pay attention if you want to play in the mountains today. New snow approaching 1 foot depth will take us into dangerous avalanche conditions where trying to outsmart the problem will become impossible.
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).
Wendy will issue the next advisory Sunday morning, December 9th.
|04/16/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Seattle Ridge||Wendy Wagner Forecaster|
|04/16/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Turnagain Pass, non-motorized side seen from Seattle Ridge||CNFAIC Staff Forecaster|
|04/16/21||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst||Lance breeding|
|04/15/21||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan||Schauer/ Rothman Forecaster|
|04/13/21||Turnagain||Observation: Turnagain Pass Road Obs||A Schauer Forecaster|
|04/12/21||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan||Johnston-Bloom / Latosuo Forecaster|
|04/10/21||Turnagain||Observation: north sides||lance breeding|
|04/09/21||Turnagain||Observation: Girdwood to Turnagain Road Observations||W Wagner Forecaster|
|04/05/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Resort bowl Seattle creek head wall||Clint Kyffin|
|04/04/21||Turnagain||Observation: Center Ridge||Andy Moderow|
Status of riding areas across the Chugach NF is managed by the Glacier and Seward Ranger Districts, not avalanche center staff. Riding area information is posted as a public service to our users and updated based on snow depth and snow density to prevent resource damage at trailhead locations. Riding area questions contact: email@example.com
|Area||Status||Weather & Riding Conditions|
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.