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ARCHIVED FORECAST - All forecasts expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
Issued
Thu, January 16th, 2014 - 7:00AM
Expires
Fri, January 17th, 2014 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
Kevin Wright
Avalanche risk The Bottom Line

Stormy weather continues to add stress to the snowpack.  5-10 inches of new snow in the last 24 hours with continued snowfall and wind will be keeping us at  CONSIDERABLE danger today above treeline.  Fresh storm snow and wind slab will be unstable in steep terrain and there remains potential for deeper slabs to break 3+ feet deep on older weak layers.

Below treeline a MODERATE danger can be found where  there is little to no wind effect, but storm snow is building.  

The strongest pulse yet from this storm cycle is expected tomorrow (Friday).  Check the forecast tomorrow for more updates on the weather.

Special Announcements

The Friends of the CNFAIC is sponsoring a scholarship opportunity in memory of DOT avalanche forecaster Rob Hammel.  Go to this link for information on how to apply.  Deadline is January 31st.

http://www.cnfaic.org/friends/friends_Scholarship.php

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Thu, January 16th, 2014
Alpine
Above 2,500'
Considerable (3)
Avalanche risk
Treeline
1,000'-2,500'
Moderate (2)
Avalanche risk
Below Treeline
Below 1,000'
Moderate (2)
Avalanche risk
Alpine
Above 2,500'
Avalanche risk
Considerable (3)
Treeline
1,000'-2,500'
Avalanche risk
Moderate (2)
Below Treeline
Below 1,000'
Avalanche risk
Moderate (2)
Danger Scale:
No Rating (0)
Low (1)
Moderate (2)
Considerable (3)
High (4)
Extreme (5)
Avalanche Problem 1
  • Storm Slabs
    Storm Slabs
Storm Slabs
Storm Slab avalanches are the release of a cohesive layer (a slab) of new snow that breaks within new snow or on the old snow surface. Storm-slabs typically last between a few hours and few days (following snowfall). Storm-slabs that form over a persistent weak layer (surface hoar, depth hoar, or near-surface facets) may be termed Persistent Slabs or may develop into Persistent Slabs.
More info at Avalanche.org

Our primary concern remains in the higher elevation zones, but poor visibility makes travel in those areas difficult.  Stormy weather has been ongoing for several days now, and is expected to continue for several more.  Storm snow and wind combined with warm temperatures are increasing the avalanche potential across the region.

Yesterday we were somewhat surprised to find softer conditions below treeline where wind has not been affecting the surface.  Above treeline is getting raked clean by the wind, resulting in challenging snow conditions.  Fresh snow is filling in slowly from the last few days.  

With 5-10 inches of snow in the last 24 hours, we expect an elevated and steady danger rating to continue today.  Wind slabs should be expected above treeline.  The East wind through the pass will be loading West facing slopes and cross loading North and South terrain features.  

 

Avalanche Problem 2
  • Persistent Slabs
    Persistent Slabs
Persistent Slabs
Persistent Slab avalanches are the release of a cohesive layer of snow (a slab) in the middle to upper snowpack, when the bond to an underlying persistent weak layer breaks. Persistent layers include: surface hoar, depth hoar, near-surface facets, or faceted snow. Persistent weak layers can continue to produce avalanches for days, weeks or even months, making them especially dangerous and tricky. As additional snow and wind events build a thicker slab on top of the persistent weak layer, this avalanche problem may develop into a Deep Persistent Slab.
More info at Avalanche.org

We continue to find unstable test results in the old November and early December snow.  These layers are no longer easy to trigger, but given the right set of circumstances it could result in large avalanches.  

Check our observations page for an extensive list of photos and tests on these weak layers.

Don’t expect to experience collapsing or see shooting cracks on the deep layers any more.  These problems are more likely to be quiet and unobtrusive until they awaken in a big way.  With both storm layer avalanche problems and persistent slab problems, steep terrain should be avoided until the current storm cycle passes and the snowpack has at least a day to adjust.  

Weather
Thu, January 16th, 2014

The last 24 hours have brought light to moderate snowfall.  Weather stations have recorded 0.5 inches (Turnagain Pass) to 1.1 (Alyeska) inches of water equivalent.  That adds up to 5-10 inches of snowfall.  Wind has also been strong, sweeping ridgelines clean of new snow.  Sunburst station had most of the recent wind from the East.  Temperatures are staying in the low 30s, with a rain line creeping up to about 1000 feet.

Today looks like more of the same weather.  We can expect light to moderate snowfall to continue.  Accumulations may be up to 6 inches.  Temperatures will hold steady.

The big pulse of moisture in the forecast is expected to happen Friday.  Precipitation and wind are both forecasted to increase substantially, starting Friday morning.  

Observations
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Riding Areas
Updated Fri, May 13th, 2022

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: mailroom_r10_chugach@fs.fed.us

Area Status Weather & Riding Conditions
Glacier District
Johnson Pass
Closed
Closed as of May 1 per Forest Plan.
Placer River
Closed
Closed as of April 25th due to insufficient snow coverage.
Skookum Drainage
Closed
Closed as of April 1st per Forest Plan.
Turnagain Pass
Open
Open. Extended opening through May 31.
Twentymile
Closed
Closed as of April 6th due to insufficient snow coverage.
Seward District
Carter Lake
Closed
Closed as of May 1 per Forest Plan.
Lost Lake Trail
Closed
Closed as of May 1 per Forest Plan.
Primrose Trail
Closed
Closed as of May 1 per Forest Plan.
Resurrection Pass Trail
Closed
Closed as of May 1 per Forest Plan.
Snug Harbor
Closed
Closed as of May 1 per Forest Plan.
South Fork Snow River Corridor
Closed
Closed as of May 1 per Forest Plan.
Summit Lake
Closed
Closed as of May 1 per Forest Plan.

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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.