Turnagain Pass Avalanche Forecast RSS

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ARCHIVED FORECAST - All forecasts expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
Issued
Thu, March 7th, 2013 - 7:00AM
Expires
Fri, March 8th, 2013 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
Graham Predeger
Avalanche risk The Bottom Line

Strong southeasterly winds and precipitation associated with an intense low-pressure system and accompanying warm front will increase our avalanche danger to MODERATE above treeline today.   Lower elevation areas that continue to harbor a stout surface crust will have a generally LOW danger.

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Thu, March 7th, 2013
Alpine
Above 2,500'
Moderate (2)
Avalanche risk
Treeline
1,000'-2,500'
Low (1)
Avalanche risk
Below Treeline
Below 1,000'
Low (1)
Avalanche risk
Alpine
Above 2,500'
Avalanche risk
Moderate (2)
Treeline
1,000'-2,500'
Avalanche risk
Low (1)
Below Treeline
Below 1,000'
Avalanche risk
Low (1)
Danger Scale:
No Rating (0)
Low (1)
Moderate (2)
Considerable (3)
High (4)
Extreme (5)
Avalanche Problem 1
  • Wind Slabs
    Wind Slabs
Wind Slabs
Wind Slab avalanches are the release of a cohesive layer of snow (a slab) formed by the wind. Wind typically transports snow from the upwind sides of terrain features and deposits snow on the downwind side. Wind slabs are often smooth and rounded and sometimes sound hollow, and can range from soft to hard. Wind slabs that form over a persistent weak layer (surface hoar, depth hoar, or near-surface facets) may be termed Persistent Slabs or may develop into Persistent Slabs.
More info at Avalanche.org

Fresh wind slabs will be the primary concern today as this storm is expected to move into our area with 55 to 75 mph southeast winds at ridgetop elevations.  Winds began to pick up around 4am and by 6am are gusting into the mid 50’s at 3800’.  Above about 1200’ we found generally loose, dry snow yesterday that is available for transport by the wind.  As winds blow the surface snow around, expect slabs to form on north and west aspects, particularly below ridges.  Falling snow at mid and upper elevations will further add to building wind slabs as this storm intensifies through this afternoon and evening.

Cornices will continue to build and fail throughout this storm event.  As always, limit your time spent underneath cornices and if travelling on a corniced ridge, when you think you are far enough back from the edge, it’s good practice to move back even further!

Avalanche Problem 2
  • Storm Slabs
    Storm Slabs
Storm Slabs
Storm Slab avalanches are the release of a cohesive layer (a slab) of new snow that breaks within new snow or on the old snow surface. Storm-slabs typically last between a few hours and few days (following snowfall). Storm-slabs that form over a persistent weak layer (surface hoar, depth hoar, or near-surface facets) may be termed Persistent Slabs or may develop into Persistent Slabs.
More info at Avalanche.org

Depending on the timing of this storm, precipitation could add up to significant amounts by this afternoon/ evening where storm snow avalanches could be an issue.  Yesterday Fitz and I found a couple of concerns on the surface in the form of a sun crust on southerly aspects at and above tree line (formed Tuesday) and very sporadic and pocketed surface hoar.  Whether or not the surface hoar stays in tact, I suspect these mid-elevation southerly aspects could be some of the first avalanche producers as storm snow accumulates and forms a slab.  If the bulk of precipitation does not come until later in the day or this evening as forecasted, storm snow avalanches will prove more of a concern on Friday.

Weather
Thu, March 7th, 2013

Temperatures were mild and winds were calm as high clouds dominated our region yesterday in anticipation of our first real shot of moisture in seven days.

Today looks to be a bit more exciting in the weather department as a 956mb low southwest of Kodiak begins to impact our area.   Winds have already begun their influence and will continue to blow from the southeast in the 55-75mph range today at upper elevations.   The temperature will gradually increase throughout the day with rain being the predominant precipitation type at sea level by this afternoon.   The snow line looks to be around 700ft today in the eastern Turnagain Arm area.   This storm will start off windy with the bulk of precip coming later this afternoon and overnight.

We will likely continue to feel the effects of this storm tomorrow as it makes landfall and subsequently weakens.   For the weekend, cloudy with a chance of precipitation looks to be the story as a series of weak lows progress across our region.

_______________________________________________________________________________

Fitz will issue the next advisory on Friday, March 8th.

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Riding Areas
Updated Tue, January 12th, 2021

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: mailroom_r10_chugach@fs.fed.us

Area Status Weather & Riding Conditions
Glacier District
Johnson Pass
Open
No parking in turnaround at end of the road near the outhouse.
Placer River
Open
Early season conditions exist, including thin ice on rivers, swamps and lakes. Please do not ride along Railroad tracks. Cross tracks at 90 degree angle and clear the right of way.
Skookum Drainage
Open
Early season conditions exist, including thin ice on rivers, swamps and lakes. Please do not ride along Railroad tracks. Cross tracks at 90 degree angle and clear the right of way.
Turnagain Pass
Open
Twentymile
Closed
Seward District
Carter Lake
Open
Lost Lake Trail
Open
Primrose Trail
Open
Resurrection Pass Trail
Closed
Closed for the 2020/21 winter season.
Snug Harbor
Open
South Fork Snow River Corridor
Open
Summit Lake
Open

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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.