Turnagain Pass Avalanche Forecast
Temperatures have continued to rise since yesterday, and rain is predicted to reach 4700 feet today. This degree of warmup and rain on snow is always a destabilizing factor in the snowpack. Forecasting the degree of instability or the timing of when natural avalanches may begin is very difficult.
Confidence in the danger rating is poor, but we may see CONSIDERABLE avalanche danger as a direct result of the warmup and rain. All elevations and all aspects are suspect today. Avalanche size and depth potential is speculation until we start seeing how the snowpack reacts to this abnormally warm weather.
As the surface snow gets wetter today it adds stress to the snowpack and may decrease snowpack strength. Wet type avalanches may occur at either low or high elevations. They could occur naturally or be human triggered.
Wet avalanches may be confined to the surface layers or they could step down into deeper persistent layers.
The layer of weak facets that sits just above the stout January melt/freeze crust continues to be a concern. There have been quite a few medium size avalanches reported on this layer over the last 2 weeks. The most recent we know of was on the 23rd. Read up on that here.
Check out this observation from Eddies on Tuesday to get a sense of the layering.
In general, the facet layer is now 2-3 feet deep. It continues to fail with moderate force in snow pit tests, and it will propagate. The best advice to manage this weak layer is avoiding exposure to steep terrain.
Temperatures rose above freezing yesterday, and continue to climb today. Rain also started yesterday along with periods of strong wind from the Southeast.
Today, some areas are already reaching into the mid 40s F. Rain will reach the top of most peaks in our forecast zone. Since yesterday Center Ridge weather station has lost 3 inches of snow depth due to the warmup.
This storm system is focusing precipitation on the southeast Kenai peninsula. Some spillover moisture is reaching into the Grandview/Spencer and Portage areas. Turnagain Pass, Girdwood and Turnagain Arm have only gotten a small amount of rain so far and should only get a small amount today. Look for SE wind 15-30mph through today.
When this storm system passes by Friday afternoon we can expect clearer skies and colder temperatures into the weekend.
Temperature graph from Seattle ridge weather station, ending at 6am today.
|05/22/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan||Nick D'Alessio|
|05/12/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan, Sunburst, Magnum, Cornbiscuit||Heather Thamm|
|05/07/23||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan – Bear Tracks||CNFAIC Staff|
|05/05/23||Turnagain||Observation: Seattle Ridge||AS/ WW Forecaster|
|05/02/23||Turnagain||Observation: Cornbiscuit||Schauer/ Sturgess Forecaster|
|05/02/23||Turnagain||Observation: Seward Hwy Turnagain Pass||Joel Curtis|
|04/30/23||Turnagain||Observation: Magnum||Ayla, Kit Crosby, Barton|
|04/29/23||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan||John Sykes|
|04/28/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Taylor Pass/Pastoral||Schauer/ Creighton Forecaster|
|04/28/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan||Andy Moderow|
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|
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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.