|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.
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.
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.
|Avalanche: Base of Seattle Ridge
|Troy Tempel, Thomas Lees, .Josh Bollaert, Damian Naquin
|Observation: Lynx creek
|Observation: Tincan Trees
|Moderow / Clayton
|Observation: Turnagain (below the uptrack)
|Alaska Avalanche School Moto Level 2
|John Sykes Forecaster
|Observation: Tincan Backdoor, Center Ridge
|AAS Level 1 / R Sullivan
|Avalanche: Tincan Trees
|Schauer/ Moderow/ Stephenson Forecaster
|Schauer/ Moderow/ Clayton Forecaster