In the upper elevations winds have been consistently blowing in the upper teens to low 20s out of the East. Expect to encounter wind slabs up to 18″ in depth today in starting zones. While the new storm snow that fell over the weekend has in general bonded well to old surfaces, the simple act of windloading can and will create areas of unstable snow. Continued winds out of the East today will help to increase the size of these slabs. Be on the lookout for snow that looks smooth, rounded and pillowy. These areas will be most sensitive while the snow is being transported and slabs are forming. While the predominant wind direction is out of the East, localized winds will blow in a variety of directions. With this in mind it is important to recognize wind and loading patterns and stay off of slopes that have been recently loaded.
A crust that formed prior to the weekend has shown to be a problem in some areas. Yesterday my partner and I found weak snow just below this new crust to be reactive and unstable in the lower elevations. While this is not a widespread problem, it is worth paying attention to, especially if you experience collapsing/whoompfing as we did yesterday.
Deeper weak layers that were reactive in tests and have produced several avalanches over the past two weeks have not shown to be a problem recently. A mid elevation crust (~1,500′-3,000′) with weak snow above, and the old weak snow at the ground have been the two layers we have been tracking. Despite a lack of activity at these layers it is still worth keeping them in mind as they have the potential to re activate in areas where the snowpack is more shallow.
Over the past 24 hours the mountains have picked up to 3″ of new snow in the Girdwood Valley, with lesser amounts on Turnagain Pass. Winds have averaged 15 mph out of the East and temps have been in the high teens F at 3,800′ and around 32 F at sea level.
Today we should expect to see light snow showers picking up later in the day as another weak low pressure system moves over the forecast area. Ridgetop winds will blow 20-30 mph out of the East and temps at 1,000′ will be in the mid twenties.
The extended outlook calls for more of the same, as an active weather pattern continues to bring modest amounts of snow to the area.
Wendy will issue the next advisory tomorrow morning, February 26th.
|01/15/21||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst||Schauer/ Wunnicke Forecaster|
|01/13/21||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan||Johnston-Bloom / Moderow Forecaster|
|01/13/21||Turnagain||Observation: Center Ridge Meadows||Alaska Avalanche School Rec Level 1 Roberts|
|01/12/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Seattle Ridge/Center Ridge||A Schauer Forecaster|
|01/11/21||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan Trees||Schauer/ Roberts Forecaster|
|01/10/21||Turnagain||Observation: Center Ridge Meadows||Alaska Avalanche School Pro 1 Course Latosuo|
|01/10/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan trees||Anonymous|
|01/09/21||Turnagain||Observation: Johnson Pass||Anonymous|
|01/08/21||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst meadow between Hemlocks||Anonymous|
|01/08/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Seattle Ridge||Wagner / Schauer|
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.