With temperatures cooling significantly since the most recent Feb 28th warm-up our snowpack is pretty well locked in place and capped off by a 1-4″ melt freeze crust. New snow today doesn’t appear significant enough to tip the balance in terms of triggering large avalanches. However travellers in steep terrain may experience loose snow sluffs or shallow storm slabs comprised of any new snow accumulation from today. These will likely be less than 12″ deep, sliding easily on the surface crust. This avalanche problem is quite manageable and should only prove concerning for travellers in steep, high consequence terrain.
Continue to follow proper backcountry travel protocol in these times of low avalanche danger, as winter is NOT over yet! With March and April ahead of us, this optimist’s glass is still half full!
Widespread surface hoar capped our most recent melt freeze crust on Monday. With moderate winds yesterday and overnight, any snowfall from today has the potential to bury much of this intact. Though this shouldn’t be a problem today given the lack of forecasted snow it warrants our attention as a future weak layer/ bed surface combination if buried intact.
Cornices continue to grow across our region with little evidence of failure to date. Continue to give these ‘backcountry bombs’ a wide berth and generally just be aware of where you are at in relation to a cornice.
Temperatures yesterday hovered right around the freezing mark at 1,000′ with low 20’s at ridgetop locations. Winds were light with moderate gusts into the mid-20 mph range from the south and east with no measurable snow accumulation in our region.
The lion’s share of forecasted precipitation in south-central Alaska today appears to be well north of Turnagain pass toward Talkeetna and the Susitna Valley with Anchorage receiving a decent shot of moisture as well. In the Eastern Turnagain Arm area, we may see up to a couple inches of snow down to sea level, temperatures in the low 30’s at 1,000′ and generally light winds from the SE in the 7-20mph range at ridgetops today.
Looking out toward the weekend there is a North Pacific low tracking into the gulf by late Friday that should impact south-central AK through the weekend. More to come on that €¦
See below for a brief summary of snowpack and water data that Wendy put together yesterday:
As of March 1st from the Turnagain Pass SNOTEL at 1880′ elevation on Center Ridge:
Snow depth: 42″, this is 47% of average…ouch (Only 10 years of data exist so far, 2005-2014)
Precipitation (graph below): 86% of average (due to rain in October and January)
SWE (graph below): 50% of normal for the median SWE
|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|
|01/12/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Seattle Ridge/Center Ridge||A Schauer Forecaster|
|01/11/21||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan Trees||Schauer/ Roberts Forecaster|
|01/10/21||Turnagain||Observation: Center Ridge Meadows||Alaska Avalanche School Pro 1 Course Latosuo|
|01/10/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan trees||Anonymous|
|01/09/21||Turnagain||Observation: Johnson Pass||Anonymous|
|01/08/21||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst meadow between Hemlocks||Anonymous|
|01/08/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Seattle Ridge||Wagner / Schauer|
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|
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.