There is still visible evidence of loose snow “avalanche” activity from the last week. In every case we’ve seen these have been low-volume point releases that occurred during the warm temperatures.
Now, as temperatures have plummeted, a prominent melt/freeze ice crust should be expected everywhere on the snow surface. This crust will be found at all elevations and all aspects. It formed from freezing rain and above freezing temperatures between Dec 2-8. We haven’t seen this crust to be strong enough to be supportable anywhere – the underlying snow is just too weak to provide strength under the crust. This makes for very challenging mountain travel right now.
That crust also has a surface hoar layer forming, adding to the complexity of our future bed surface.
Photo – Bob Sutherland – crust with surface hoar
The temperature profile above is from the Seattle ridge weather station, showing a timeline from Dec 8 to the present. This is the reason why we have the melt/freeze crust everywhere. Current temperatures range from low single digits to the teens at some sea level locations.
It hasn’t snowed in quite a while, making temperature swings and freezing rain the most interesting weather events over the last week.
The forecast discussion for Friday and Saturday is exciting! “The upper air pattern shift is complete… and a surface low tracking into then stalling in Prince William Sound.” “The bulk of accumulating snow comes Friday and Early Saturday. Storm total accumulations for Anchorage and vicinity will generally range from 4 to 8 inches… but there is the potential for locally higher values.”
Read the entire discussion HERE. We can expect our snowpack stability to get dramatically worse with this new snowfall for the weekend, depending on how much we get. Stay tuned and check back for the latest information.
|01/26/21||Turnagain||Observation: Ridge near Seattle Creek Weather Station||Nick Ohlrich|
|01/26/21||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan Alpine||Eric Roberts|
|01/26/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Eddies Spines||Dmitry Surnin|
|01/26/21||Turnagain||Observation: Pete’s North||Kyle Van Peursem|
|01/25/21||Turnagain||Observation: Center ridge||Simon Garrard|
|01/24/21||Turnagain||Observation: Pete’s||Mike Records|
|01/24/21||Turnagain||Observation: Triangle bowl||Cooper Street|
|01/24/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Eddies||Johnston-Bloom / Moderow Forecaster|
|01/24/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Eddie’s||Jose Ramos-Leon|
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.