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ARCHIVED FORECAST - All forecasts expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
Issued
Thu, November 27th, 2014 - 7:00AM
Expires
Fri, November 28th, 2014 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
Wendy Wagner
Avalanche risk The Bottom Line

The avalanche danger is  LOW  near and above treeline in the alpine zones. Below treeline continues to be snow-free. There is a potential for triggering a shallow wind slab in extreme terrain at the highest elevations. Additionally, sluffing in the top 5-7″ of snow is possible on steep (> 40 degrees) continuous slopes.

*Early season hazards such as rocks, stumps, alders, small terrain features that are not filled in yet – you name it – are the biggest concern right now. How these hazards compare to Black Friday lines however, is another question.

The next advisory will be Saturday morning at 7am.  
Outlook for Friday:
Increasing cloud cover, continued light winds and little to no snow accumulation all point to Friday’s avalanche conditions to be the same as today.

Special Announcements

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the loss of one of Alaska’s longtime avalanche forecasters, friend and colleague. Retired ADOT&PF avalanche forecaster Terry Onslow passed away on Tuesday, November 25th. This was two years and one day after ADOT&PF avalanche forecaster Rob Hammel left us. This is a sad time for the avalanche community and our thoughts and condolences go out to the family and friends of Terry.

Terry was the avalanche forecaster for ADOT&PF for 27 years! He was a leader in the artillery community and one of his crowning achievements was developing and continually improving the artillery program for ADOT&PF along the Seward Highway, Dalton Highway, Thane Road and Richardson Highway. His avalanche career also took him as far away as Russia to conduct an avalanche study of a mining operation. Prior to 1983, he worked as a patroller doing snow safety work at Big Sky Montana where he used to say he learned about facets and depth hoar. In his younger days, he was a ski racer on the icy slopes of the East Coast.  

We would like to take this opportunity today, Thanksgiving, to give thanks to all the avalanche forecasters and public safety workers that spend countless hours minimizing our risk as we travel along the Alaskan roads for various reasons, many of those reasons today being with family and friends.

Thanks to our sponsors!
Thu, November 27th, 2014
Alpine
Above 2,500'
Low (1)
Avalanche risk
Treeline
1,000'-2,500'
Low (1)
Avalanche risk
Below Treeline
Below 1,000'
No Rating (0)
Avalanche risk
Alpine
Above 2,500'
Avalanche risk
Low (1)
Treeline
1,000'-2,500'
Avalanche risk
Low (1)
Below Treeline
Below 1,000'
Avalanche risk
No Rating (0)
Danger Scale:
No Rating (0)
Low (1)
Moderate (2)
Considerable (3)
High (4)
Extreme (5)
Avalanche Problem 1
  • Normal Caution
    Normal Caution
Normal Caution
Normal Caution means triggering an avalanche is unlikely but not impossible.
More info at Avalanche.org

As stated in the bottom line, the main concern if you venture into the backcountry will be early season/low snow cover hazards. Rocks, stumps, alders, etc. Below is a run down of snow depths vs. elevation:

1,000′ (Turnagain Pass road elevation):  0-3 inches
2,000′ (Treeline):  18″ to 2 feet                                            
2,500′ (Top of Treeline):  2 feet                                           
3,200′ (Above Treeline – Alpine):  3 feet

The good news is a very stout crust exists in the middle of the pack with strong melt-freeze snow below, which is covering up many of the smaller rocks (Photo above). More details from CNFAIC’s field day yesterday are HERE and HERE.

Wind Slab:
In high elevation extreme terrain, off ridgelines and peaks, there is the possibility of finding and triggering a wind slab. Watch for rounded stiff wind deposited snow that feels hollow. Also, be aware of what is below – cliffs/rocks – in the event even a small slab is triggered.

Loose Snow sluffs:
On steep slopes, 40 degrees and above, watch for sluffing in the settled snow from 11/22. Sluffs are expected to be low volume.

Weather
Thu, November 27th, 2014

Yesterday we saw broken cloud cover and valley fog obscure much of the mountainous terrain. Winds were light from the Northwest and temperatures were in the mid 20’s F above treeline.

Today, we can expect partly sunny skies with high clouds streaming in from the West. Ridgetop winds are expected to be light and variable. Temperatures have cooled off overnight and are expected to be in the teens near treeline and the low 20’sF on the ridgetops.

Tomorrow, Black Friday, we should see an increase in cloud cover, and possibly a flake or two, as rotating lows in the Bering move west and the associated frontal system begins to spill into Southcentral. This will continue to move our way and give us a chance for snow (to sea level!) Saturday and into Sunday.

PRECIPITATION 24-hour data (6am – 6am)

  Temp Avg (F) Snow (in) Water (in) Snow Depth (in)
Center Ridge (1880′) 23   0   0   18
Summit Lake (1400′) 24 0 0   0  
Alyeska Mid (1700′) 24   0   0   9

RIDGETOP 24-hour data (6am – 6am)

  Temp Avg (F) Wind Dir Wind Avg (mph) Wind Gust (mph)
Sunburst (3812′) 20    W 4   12  
Seattle Ridge (2400′) 19   var   4 11  
Observations
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Riding Areas
Updated Wed, June 01st, 2022

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: mailroom_r10_chugach@fs.fed.us

Area Status Weather & Riding Conditions
Glacier District
Johnson Pass
Closed
Closed as of May 1 per Forest Plan.
Placer River
Closed
Closed as of April 25th due to insufficient snow coverage.
Skookum Drainage
Closed
Closed as of April 1st per Forest Plan.
Turnagain Pass
Closed
Closed as of June 1st.
Twentymile
Closed
Closed as of April 6th due to insufficient snow coverage.
Seward District
Carter Lake
Closed
Closed as of May 1 per Forest Plan.
Lost Lake Trail
Closed
Closed as of May 1 per Forest Plan.
Primrose Trail
Closed
Closed as of May 1 per Forest Plan.
Resurrection Pass Trail
Closed
Closed as of May 1 per Forest Plan.
Snug Harbor
Closed
Closed as of May 1 per Forest Plan.
South Fork Snow River Corridor
Closed
Closed as of May 1 per Forest Plan.
Summit Lake
Closed
Closed as of May 1 per Forest Plan.

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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.