Wind slabs formed over the past several days of sustained light to moderate winds are the primary concern today. Look for these slabs to be relatively shallow, less than a foot in depth and sitting in potentially unusual areas (e.g. mid slope, well below and away from ridgelines). Recent winds have created shallow slabs that were sensitive to human triggers over the last two days. In the higher elevations much of the snow that was available for transport has been either scoured or turned into these stiff slabs. The chance of new wind slabs forming today are on the low end because of this lack of snow available for transport. The wind slabs we observed being triggered this weekend pulled out in steeper terrain, generally above 35 degrees and on average closer to 40 degrees. A rise in temperatures today will increase the sensitivity of these slabs. Be on the lookout today for these pockets of lingering slabs, especially above cliffbands, gullies and trees. While these avalanches are generally low in volume, consequences go up when one of these pockets sweeps you into or over a terrain trap.
The deep slab problem continues to linger. This problem has gone from being a widespread issue to one that exists primarily above treeline. Warm temps and light rain last week melted the snow surface and penetrated to the lower layers of the snowpack. These melted layers have now had time to go into a hard freeze and are much stronger. Above ~2,000′ this process has not occurred to the same extent. Therefore, it is worth remembering that the weak snow that formed in the beginning of the season still lurks below. The likelihood of triggering a deep slab today is low. The consequences of triggering an avalanche in weak layers buried 3-8 feet deep are still potentially high.
Clear and cold conditions dominated the region over the weekend. The Sunburst weather station at 3,800′ reached -17 degrees F overnight. Winds have been light to moderate during this time, primarily out of the North, Northwest and West. No precip has fallen over the last several days.
Look for temps to begin climbing today as a low pressure system centered to South of the Aleutians makes its way towards South Central Alaska. Temps will reach into the teens by midday, clouds will move in and just a trace of snow will fall during the day today. Winds will shift from West to East and will be 10-15 mph with gusts to 30mph.
A greater chance for snow will come tonight and into tomorrow. Temperatures will continue to rise into the 20s and 30s into the middle part of the week. A chance of snow exists each of the next three days in our area.
Wendy will issue the next advisory tomorrow morning, January 29th.
|05/28/22||Turnagain||Avalanche: Turnagain Pass – late May wet slab cycle||CNFAIC Staff|
|05/21/22||Turnagain||Avalanche: Magnum, Lipps and Tincan||CNFAIC Staff|
|05/17/22||Turnagain||Avalanche: Sunburst||CNFAIC Staff|
|05/17/22||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan Ridge||Joe Kurtak|
|05/11/22||Turnagain||Avalanche: Cornbiscuit and Magnum west faces||CNFAIC Staff Forecaster|
|05/07/22||Turnagain||Observation: Granddaddy||Kit Barton|
|04/29/22||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst wx station||AS/ MM/ AM/ NH|
|04/28/22||Turnagain||Observation: More Turnagain Pass/Summit Lake wet slab activity||Alex Marienthal|
|04/27/22||Turnagain||Observation: Magnum||Sykes / Buttrick Forecaster|
|04/27/22||Turnagain||Observation: Girdwood/Summit/Turnagain Road obs||A S|
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
|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.