|Travel Advice||Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.||Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.||Dangerous avalanche conditions. Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious route-finding, and conservative decision-making essential.||Very dangerous avalanche conditions. Travel in avalanche terrain not recommended.||Extraordinarily dangerous avalanche conditions. Avoid all avalanche terrain.|
|Likelihood of Avalanches||Natural and human-triggered avalanches unlikely.||Natural avalanches unlikely; human-triggered avalanches possible.||Natural avalanches possible; human-triggered avalanches likely.||Natural avalanches likely; human-triggered avalanches very likely.||Natural and human-triggered avalanches certain.|
|Avalanche Size and Distribution||Small avalanches in isolated areas or extreme terrain.||Small avalanches in specific areas; or large avalanches in isolated areas.||Small avalanches in many areas; or large avalanches in specific areas; or very large avalanches in isolated areas.||Large avalanches in many areas; or very large avalanches in specific areas.||Very large avalanches in many areas.|
Storm snow from Dec. 13/14th continued its settling process as relatively warmer temperatures (above 0 F) today will promote bonding, allowing more of a consistent or interconnected slab across a given slope. It is unclear still if warmer temps today will do much to affix last weekend’s storm snow to our December drizzle crust from 12/7. We have had several reports of small, skier triggered soft slabs running on this crust over the last few days.
The crust is easy to find as it proves supportable to a skier and is widespread throughout the Turnagain zone. Given time it will continue to break down and become absorbed into our mid-winter snowpack but right now we are paying particular attention to how any new load of snow will react on this bed surface. Continue to pay attention to steeper, rocky terrain or convex rollovers where you may pull out a soft slab pocket today.
Moreover let’s not lose site of what lies below. The lower half of our snowpack consists of very weak, faceted snow. I suspect a big enough trigger such as a snowmachine may be able to penetrate this rotten layer and produce an avalanche.
Our surface still consists of low density, loose snow that is ripe for wind transport with the coming storm (see mountain weather below). New surface hoar has also formed over the last couple of cold and clear nights to cap our snowpack. If winds pick up early enough in the day today, we could see wind slabs forming below ridges and on cross-loaded slopes prior to nightfall.
Yesterday temperatures were stubborn to break single digits. Winds were generally light form the north and northwest allowing valley fog to stay in place for much of the day in low lying areas while anyone in the upper elevations was rewarded with clear skies and a very low (on the horizon) sun.
Expect today to be a day of transition as mid and high level clouds move in to our area ushering in the arrival of what looks to be a quick, yet potent blast of winter weather. A strengthening low-pressure system to our south will arrive this afternoon/ evening packing SE winds and ample snow. There is a Blizzard Warning in effect for 6PM this evening. The peak intensity of this storm looks to hit the eastern Turnagain Arm region overnight and if the system lines up favorably, we could wake up tomorrow with 12-18 € of new snow. The exact track of this low will play a big role in wind direction and specifically what areas are favored with snowfall, but in short precip will be in the form of snow across our region and winds will be moderate to strong overnight, creating those blizzard conditions.
|11/27/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan Ridge||Schauer/ Stiassny Forecaster|
|11/26/23||Turnagain||Observation: Road report: Slide with dirt on Repeat offender||Anonymous|
|11/26/23||Turnagain||Observation: Pete’s North||Ben Sullender|
|11/25/23||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan trees||John Sykes Forecaster|
|11/21/23||Observation: Spokane Creek||John Sykes Forecaster|
|11/19/23||Turnagain||Observation: Magnum – PMS Bowl||Schauer/ Cullen/ Jonas Forecaster|
|11/19/23||Other Regions||Observation: Sunnyside/Penguin||Jose Ramos-Leon|
|11/19/23||Turnagain||Observation: Eddies||Andy Moderow|