In areas unaffected by wind expect to encounter enough light density snow for riders and skiers to create small to medium sized loose snow avalanches. The only reactive snow we were able to find yesterday was a few inches of this light density loose snow. In terrain over 40 degrees this surface snow slid readily in the form of sluffs and was low in volume and fast moving. Expect more of the same behavior today with volumes increasing as the snow accumulates. Human triggered sluffing has the potential to carry people into and over terrain traps. Choose your terrain with this in mind today.
New snow in the form of slabs will also be a concern. Expect slabs up to 18″ in depth to be most sensitive on steep south facing terrain today.
Look for wind slabs to build today in the upper elevations on west and south aspects. These slabs will be most sensitive on steep south facing terrain where a stout crust lurks beneath the surface and will provide for a good sliding surface. We have had several reports of skier triggered avalanches mainly on south aspects over the weekend. This setup of new snow bonding poorly to crusts primarily exists on terrain over 35 degrees.
Old wind slabs, formed by strong winds of last Tuesday are lingering below a fresh coating of snow. These slabs are sitting on weak snow, are somewhat random in their distribution, and concealed by 2-8″ of new snow. Because of this they are hard to detect. Staying off of steep terrain (>40 degrees) will help to minimize your chances of finding one of these isolated pockets of slab.
The most destructive avalanches we have seen over the past three weeks have been the result of large cornice falls. Minimize your time on terrain with cornices sitting above and approach ridgecrests with caution.
In the past 24 hours the mountains around Eastern Turnagain Arm on average have picked up ~6″ of new snow with .6″ of water. Temperatures at the Seattle Ridge station at 2,400′ averaged 22.5 F. Winds there have averaged 10 mph out of the ESE with gusts to 22mph.
Light snow continues to fall in the area and should continue through the evening hours with 6-10″ expected. The peak intensity for snowfall will occur in the morning hours today. Winds will pick back up later in the day and average 15-25mph out of the E. Temperatures at 1,000′ will stay in the high teens to low 20s F today.
The extended outlook calls for clearing on Tuesday with a return to an active (snowy) weather pattern for the second half of the week.
Wendy will issue the next advisory tomorrow morning, March 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: 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.