Forecasted 40-55 mph east winds are guaranteed to build very tender and sensitive wind slabs with yesterday’s 4-8” of light powder combined with today’s storm snow. As you gain in elevation, slabs will be actively forming throughout the day on a variety of bed surfaces including breakable crusts, buried surface hoar (observed on Tuesday in Girdwood and Turnagain) and in the upper elevations older wind slab.
Below tree line where winds are not as intense, avalanche size is likely to be small though human triggered avalanches will be possible. Slabs will form mostly on a breakable crust at these lower elevations.
Above tree line expect slabs to form in all the usual places; below ridgelines on west-facing (leeward) slopes and cross-loaded gullies. With moderate to high winds, slopes tend to load further downhill than one would think, often luring a skier or snowmachiner mid-slope before finding the trigger point. The likelihood of triggering a slab in terrain greater than 35 degrees today is probable; there is however some uncertainty on just how big an avalanche may be.
As a fresh shot of wind and moisture rolls in today it is worth mentioning that at higher elevations there still exists weak, faceted snow at the bottom of our pack. Though we have not seen an avalanche fail on this layer in several weeks, deep slab instabilities are notorious for lying dormant for long periods only to suddenly awake and catch us off guard. At this point, safe travel protocol will be your best bet to avoid this avalanche concern.
If you happen to find areas sheltered from the wind today, yesterday’s low-density powder combined with storm snow will create fast-moving loose snow sluffs in steep terrain. If expected, these loose-snow slides should prove quite manageable.
Well it looks to be a bonafide storm day in the eastern Turnagain Arm region today. Expect this system to ramp up throughout the daylight hours bringing 8-16 € of snow (at all elevations!) and 40-55 mph winds from the east. Temps look to be in the mid to high 20’s at 1000′ and should stay below freezing at sea level. A BLIZZARD WARNING remains in effect today from 10 AM to 6 PM.
Tomorrow looks to be a break in action before another weather front moves into south-central over the weekend. This next system looks promising for more wind and precipitation.
Fitz will issue the next advisory tomorrow morning, February 8th.
|05/06/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Pastoral Peak, north face||Andy Duenow|
|04/10/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Wolverine||Mike Records|
|04/10/20||Turnagain||Observation: Eddies lookers right shoulder||Matt Yoder|
|04/09/20||Turnagain||Observation: Bench Peak||Mike Records|
|04/04/20||Turnagain||Observation: Pete’s North||Anonymous|
|03/26/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan – Proper (SW facing)||CNFAIC Staff|
|03/26/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Seattle Ridge||W Wagner Forecaster|
|03/25/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Sunburst Uptrack @ 2000′||J. Boisvert|
|03/24/20||Turnagain||Observation: Turnagain – Road Observations||W Wagner Forecaster|
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.