Despite the impressive spike in temperature yesterday at the ridgetops, we did not see or hear of any new avalanche activity. There were a few small wet point releases and one potential small slab in the Summit Lake area that may have occurred. Our last known wet slab was on Turnagain Pass Sunday – two days ago. Photo below.
One thing we have different today is a substantial drop in temperature. This is good news, both for stabilizing the snowpack as well as limiting the melt-out seen below treeline. However, temperatures are still warm in the big picture and though the snowpack continues to season and adjust to the warm conditions, large wet avalanches are still possible.
Below is the last known wet slab avalanche. It occurred Sunday, January 26th on Pete’s South ridge – South side of Turnagain Pass.
At the upper elevations (above 3,500′ or so) where snow has been falling for almost two weeks now the snowpack has been getting deeper by the day. We had evidence of a large deep slab avalanche cycle last week, with the last known deep slab three days ago on Goat Mtn. Though it has been a few days since we’ve seen or heard of any new deep slabs, it doesn’t mean the problem has gone away. The pack dealt with a large spike in temperature yesterday (over 40F at 4,200′) and has seen persistent strong wind for over a week. It is not likely anyone will be traveling in this upper elevation terrain, but the possibility exists for natural avalanches to occur and run to valley bottoms.
A few comments on the state of the snowpack:
All that said, there is still a layer of weak faceted snow that sits near the ground and is responsible for our many slab avalanches seen so far this season. Depending on elevation, the faceted snow is either wet (below treeline) and melting or dry (well above treeline) and being compressed with the weight of the new snow from the past couple weeks.
Below treeline (Turnagain Pass looking Northeast) Above treeline (South end of Pass looking North at Pk 4940)
During the past 24-hours we have seen a significant drop in temperature since yesterday morning’s spike (to the low 40’s F on the ridgetops and mid 50’s at sea level). We are now sitting in the upper 20’s at the ridgetops and around 40F at sea level. Winds were averaging 50mph yesterday but have dropped to 10mph overnight from the East. We had .4″ of rain to 3,500′, mostly falling in the afternoon.
Today we should see the remnants of yesterday’s system move out. Light rain up to 1,500′ is expected to fall during the day with around .2″ accumulating. Skies should be mostly cloudy and could clear up a bit by the afternoon. Temperatures will be in the upper 20’s on the ridgelines and near 40F at sea level. Winds are expected to remain light from the East in the 10mph range.
For tomorrow we should see conditions similar to today but for Thursday a cooling and clearing trend looks to develop.
|01/20/21||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst||Johnston-Bloom / Roberts Forecaster|
|01/19/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Cornbiscuit||Schauer/ Johnston-Bloom Forecaster|
|01/19/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Sunburst and Tincan||CNFAIC Staff|
|01/19/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Seattle Ridge||CNFAIC Staff|
|01/19/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan 2900′ SW aspect below Hippy Bowl.||Kris Marshall|
|01/18/21||Turnagain||Observation: Turnagain Pass Road Obs.||A Schauer Forecaster|
|01/16/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan Trees||A Schauer Forecaster|
|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|
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.