With overnight temperatures cooling along with a slight increase in Easterly wind, the soft and saturated surface from yesterday has likely undergone a superficial re-freeze. This will mainly be the case above treeline while below treeline increased cloud cover is expected to have kept the surface wet and unsupportable. In general, the snowpack has been through many melt/freeze cycles and has seasoned to our warm spring-time temperatures. We have yet to see any significant wet avalanche activity, but we also have yet to see an extended significant day/night warm up. For anyone traveling in the mountains today, the two main avalanche concerns to keep in mind are:
Wet loose point release avalanches:
In very steep terrain (40+ degrees) wet loose snow sluffs will be possible to initiate where the surface has melted, lost its strength and is composed of several inches or more of wet and sloppy snow.
Wind slabs (above 3,000′):
Though the wind is forecast to blow in the 15-25mph range from the East, there is a lack of dry snow available for transport. The exception will be at the highest elevations – above 3,000′ – where shallow winds slabs may form with any new snow today (1-2″ forecast) or preexisting snow soft enough to be drifted.
Many cornices are still hanging on to the Ridgelines. Though there has been little in way of cornice falls this season, they are nothing to mess with and continuing to steer clear of these on the ridgelines as well as from below is prudent.
Photo below – cornices along the Seattle Ridgeline.
Yesterday we saw a return to mostly sunny skies and very warm temperatures. The Center Ridge SNOTEL at 1880‘ got as warm as 50F yesterday while 24-hour ridgetop temperatures averaged near 30F. Winds were light and variable. Cumulus clouds were bubbling up over Pastoral Peak – a sure sign of spring.
Today, mostly cloudy skies and wet conditions have moved back in associated with a series of disturbances along North Prince William Sound. Scattered showers bringing .1-.2″ of rain is forecast below 1,000′ and 1-2″ of wet snow above. Temperatures will rise to near 40F at 1,000′ and 30F on the Ridges. Ridgetop winds are expected to be between 15-25mph from the East.
The weak systems over us today will move out and sunny skies are in store for the weekend as a brief high pressure builds in above the large low pressure sitting to our South. Early next week models are showing a return to cloudy, warm and drizzly conditions.
|05/28/22||Turnagain||Avalanche: Turnagain Pass – late May wet slab cycle||CNFAIC Staff|
|05/21/22||Turnagain||Avalanche: Magnum, Lipps and Tincan||CNFAIC Staff|
|05/17/22||Turnagain||Avalanche: Sunburst||CNFAIC Staff|
|05/17/22||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan Ridge||Joe Kurtak|
|05/11/22||Turnagain||Avalanche: Cornbiscuit and Magnum west faces||CNFAIC Staff Forecaster|
|05/07/22||Turnagain||Observation: Granddaddy||Kit Barton|
|04/29/22||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst wx station||AS/ MM/ AM/ NH|
|04/28/22||Turnagain||Observation: More Turnagain Pass/Summit Lake wet slab activity||Alex Marienthal|
|04/27/22||Turnagain||Observation: Magnum||Sykes / Buttrick Forecaster|
|04/27/22||Turnagain||Observation: Girdwood/Summit/Turnagain Road obs||A S|
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: email@example.com
|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.