For the first time in just over 3 weeks we have measureable snow to report! However, accumulations are scant – but still accumulations nonetheless. So far we have picked up roughly 3″ in Turnagain Pass and Girdwood Valley with another 1-3″ possible today. Colder air is moving in and the new snow is low in denisty and reaching sea level.
Winds are forecast to be generally light, but on some ridge tops may be just strong enough to move the light snow around and form shallow wind slabs on leeward slopes. With such low snow amounts these are not likely to pose much threat unless you find yourself in a zone with 6″ or so of new snow. In this case, quick hand pits, watching for wind drifted snow and any cracking or ‘slabing’ up of the new snow will be key in sussing out wind slabs. Watch for them to be touchy and not bonding well with the crusty conditions underneath.
For a sense of the expected surface conditions (ah, ‘dust-on-crust’) – below are shots of yesterday’s snow cover that is now mostly frozen with 1-3+?” of light snow on top:
Seattle Ridge – snowmachine ‘up-track’ NW ridge and face of Magnum SW terrain on Tincan
On slopes lucky enough to receive over a few inches of snow you’ll likely find it easy to initiate predictable and low volume dry sluffs.
**Later in the day, if the sun is able to warm the new snow watch for roller-balling from rocks/trees/alders/etc. If the sun is intense enough, these could turn into decent size wet snow sluffs and something to be aware of if you are in confined terrain such as gullies. Damp/wet snow sluffs can push a person around much more than the dry variety that should be present earlier in the day.
Yesterday’s partly cloudy skies, light winds and warm temperatures (30-40deg F) continued to melt out the existing snow cover. Overnight however, cloud cover moved back in and snow began to fall as cold air slides in from the Northwest and collides with a warm and weak low pressure to our South – finally a little re-fresher!
Snowfall estimates as of 6am this morning are below. The go-to Turnagain Pass and Summit SNOTEL sites are not reporting this morning so estimates are a bit rough. But, you can watch the lighted snow stake loop on the RWIS Turnagain Pass site for an idea.
Turnagain Pass: 3″
Summit Lake: 0″
Girdwood Valley: 3-4″
It looks like we should get another 1-3″ of very low density snow on top of this throughout the day along with patches of sunshine. Temperatures should continue to drop to around 10F on the ridge tops and to the low 20’sF at 1,000′ – snow to sea level. Winds will remain mostly light to moderate (10-15mph) and switch from the Northwest to a Northeast direction with gusts to 20mph.
Beginning tonight, a return to clear skies and mild weather is in store as another high pressure builds and extends through the remainder of the week.
|05/18/21||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan Ridge||Joe Kurtak|
|04/30/21||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst||W Wagner Forecaster|
|04/27/21||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan Ridge||Joe Kurtak|
|04/26/21||Turnagain||Observation: Magnum||Creighton/ Hoople|
|04/25/21||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst||Nick D'Alessio|
|04/24/21||Turnagain||Observation: Airplane obs||Johnston-Bloom / DiJulia /Hilliard Forecaster|
|04/24/21||Turnagain||Observation: Corn biscuit||Heather Johnson|
|04/23/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Lynx Ck Drainage||W Wagner Forecaster|
|04/23/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Sunburst||Eeva Latosuo|
|04/23/21||Turnagain||Observation: Center Ridge Turnagain pass||Joe Kurtak|
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.