The snowpack continues to melt slowly each day. Night-time temperatures are the key right now, with below freezing temps allowing the snowpack to maintain a little bit of strength. This strength will be lost (and avalanche danger may increase significantly) if we get nights without freezing temperatures. For today, we don’t expect a significant change from conditions over the last week.
Wet loose avalanches have been noted in our zone recently. The West face of Pyramid peak had a couple of lobes of wet loose snow travel the full length of the face sometime in the last 2 days. This kind of avalanche activity is very unlikely in the morning when temperatures are colder, and increases in probability as the day gets warmer and the snow gets softer.
Cornice fall will also become more dangerous late in the day as warming increases the possibility for spontaneous or human triggered cornices.
The snowpack is very close to an “isothermal” state. This is the point where all layers in the snowpack are the same temperature – 32 degrees. Clues we monitor to gage the strength of the snowpack at this point include – natural avalanche activity, boot or ski penetration, “wetness” of the snowpack, and free water being released from the snowpack. If these factors get significantly worse, then the backcountry could become dangerous.
With no precipitation to speak of in several days, temperature is the most significant meteorological factor. At mid elevations, temperatures are reaching the mid 40s during the peak of the day. Overnight we had cooling down to below freezing.
Sunburst (3,812′) 25 34.9
Seattle (2,400′) 27.4 34.5
Center Ridge (1,880′) 28.9 48.7
Our recent stretch of sunny and warm days looks to be coming to a close today. Clouds will be moving in this afternoon with a chance of rain over the next few days. Wind will increase tonight, with a Southeast flow to 16-25mph at the ridgetops.
|01/20/21||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst||Johnston-Bloom / Roberts Forecaster|
|01/19/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Cornbiscuit||Schauer/ Johnston-Bloom Forecaster|
|01/19/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Sunburst and Tincan||CNFAIC Staff|
|01/19/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Seattle Ridge||CNFAIC Staff|
|01/19/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan 2900′ SW aspect below Hippy Bowl.||Kris Marshall|
|01/18/21||Turnagain||Observation: Turnagain Pass Road Obs.||A Schauer Forecaster|
|01/16/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan Trees||A Schauer Forecaster|
|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|
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.