New snow that started falling Thursday afternoon built up to at least 1 foot deep at higher elevations. Snowfall amounts look fairly consistent between Girdwood and Turnagain Pass. In addition, the temperatures shot up from single digits to the mid 30s this morning. Wind peaked last night but continues to be strong this morning with gusts reaching 64mph at Sunburst. Those 2 factors – rising temperatures and wind – will make the new snow “upside down” or denser on the top than the bottom and quite a bit heavier than the underlying layer. This is a classic “unstable” setup.
Given the current snowpack, storm snow avalanches likely started happening spontaneously last night. We aren’t talking about a lot of snow yet, but it’s enough to warrant strong caution today and into the weekend. With a tapering of the snowfall this morning we won’t be seeing a lot more natural activity, but human triggered avalanches will remain a problem today.
The ongoing wind is creating pockets of unstable snow in specific areas. Sunburst has been reading wind averaging over 20mph and gusting over 60mph since the storm began. Predominate wind direction at that site is from the East. Seattle ridge has slightly less wind from an East Southeast direction. That means West facing slopes and cross loaded North and South slopes are especially concerning.
With sea level temperatures currently in the mid 30s our snow has transitioned to rain in the lower elevations. It also looks like the peak of this storm has passed for eastern Turnagain Arm but ongoing snow showers will continue for the next couple days. Cooling temperatures are predicted which will transition the rain back to snow.
Freezing rain in Anchorage and at sea level this morning is expected to cause travel difficulties. Snow may become heavy at times in Anchorage this afternoon.
Schools in Girdwood and Seward are canceled today due to treacherous driving conditions! Be safe out there!
|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.