For anyone getting out in the mountains today, the main concern is triggering a lingering wind slab avalanche. These are isolated to the high elevation steep slopes (over 40deg) on north, south and east aspects.
GENERAL SNOWPACK DISCUSSION
With little new snow and moderate wind, our thin snowpack is in a holding pattern. The weak layers of earlier this month are still there, but the slabs are deteriorating to the point they are becoming weak layers themselves (picture below). The one exception is areas that have seen wind. Hard wind crusts and slabs are littered about above treeline, yet these are slowly deteriorating as well. Our focus now is on the weakening pack and how the next snowfall will react with it when it’s buried.
Well, we polished off November 2013 yesterday and I’d characterize it as a dry month with a few small weather events. This November was a bit similar to last year but quite different than two years ago. Below are comparisons of November snow data. If you would like to view the full charts and explanations of the numbers they are available on the ‘Weather History’ tab under ‘Weather’ above.
November precipitation from the Turnagain Pass SNOTEL for the past three years below. Note: Average snow water equivalent for November is 4.9″ – we are around half that for this year at 2.6″.
We have a significant warm up occurring today to replace the frigid temperatures we have endured that last several days. During the past 24 hours, temperatures at the upper elevations have begun to climb from below zero into the teens (F), yet at 1,000ft single to minus single digits remain entrenched. Wind has been steady in the 5-10mph range with gusts to 25mph from the northwest.
For today (and into tomorrow) temperatures will continue to rise at the mid and upper elevations into the 20’s F, however the cold air pooled in valleys will likely remain chilly. We should see clear skies and wind ~10mph with gusts in the 20’s from the northeast.
Many of us are looking into the weather crystal ball (weather prediction models) to see if the storm heading our way for the middle of the week will add any snow to our pack. It looks like it should give us a little something but it is still too early to tell. Until then, clear skies and warmer temperatures are on tap through Tuesday.
|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: 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.