A modest amount of new snow overnight and continuing into today will be easily blown around by the wind. The most likely avalanche problem to encounter today will be freshly formed wind slabs on leeward slopes, in starting zones and in cross loaded gullies. Slab depths will be in the 12-18” range.
General wind direction will be out of the East and in the 30 to 40 mph range on ridge tops. Keep in mind that wind direction will vary from place to place. Rather than focus on the compass, it is more important to be able to recognize wind slabs by their look and feel. They will appear rounded, smooth and pillowy. They will feel “upside down” and hollow. Shooting cracks, an obvious sign of unstable snow, commonly occur on newly formed wind slabs.
Avoiding terrain where wind slabs are present will be the best way to manage this problem today.
A layer of weak snow buried 2-5 feet deep is still taking time to adjust to the load it received last week (5’ snow/5” water). This layer was the likely culprit in numerous large natural and human triggered avalanches over the weekend. While time is helping to heal this wound, the destructive potential of an avalanche at this layer is significant. This newest slab, a combination of the March 10th and March 14th storms, is thick enough in most places that it is difficult to impact the layer in question. Because of this it will be possible to travel on steep terrain without any of the obvious signs, including avalanches, to show themselves. It will also be possible for a slope to have a plethora of tracks on it before releasing. Add in the fact that we have had avalanches triggered remotely and this problem becomes even more complex.
Rather than trying to outsmart this instability, it is better to negotiate this problem by avoiding steep slopes and likely trigger points altogether. Likely trigger points include shallow spots in the snowpack and steep rollovers.
In the past 24 hours the mountains around Eastern Turnagain Arm have picked up 4-6 € of new snow with .3 € of water. Ridgetop winds have averaged 15mph out of the East with a max gust of 47mph. Temperatures have averaged 10 degrees F and are currently in the teens F.
Today expect lingering snow showers with another 2-3 € of snow possible. Temperatures at 1,000′ will warm into the high 20s/low 30s F. Ridgetop winds will be out of the East in the 30 to 40 mph range.
The extended outlook is calling for an unsettled pattern to bring light snow amounts through Wednesday. A clearing trend looks to develop later in the week.
|04/16/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Seattle Ridge||Wendy Wagner Forecaster|
|04/16/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Turnagain Pass, non-motorized side seen from Seattle Ridge||CNFAIC Staff Forecaster|
|04/16/21||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst||Lance breeding|
|04/15/21||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan||Schauer/ Rothman Forecaster|
|04/13/21||Turnagain||Observation: Turnagain Pass Road Obs||A Schauer Forecaster|
|04/12/21||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan||Johnston-Bloom / Latosuo Forecaster|
|04/10/21||Turnagain||Observation: north sides||lance breeding|
|04/09/21||Turnagain||Observation: Girdwood to Turnagain Road Observations||W Wagner Forecaster|
|04/05/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Resort bowl Seattle creek head wall||Clint Kyffin|
|04/04/21||Turnagain||Observation: Center Ridge||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|
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.