There is uncertainty as to how much new snow the Eastern Turnagain Arm will see today. Likely, some areas will get several inches while a couple ridgelines over may see only a trace. In areas seeing several inches or more of new snow, fresh wind slab avalanches will be the main concern. The winds are forecast to average between 15-25mph, which are ideal wind loading speeds. The Seattle Ridge weather station is reading in this range this morning while the Sunburst weather station is quieter (~10mph) with speeds increasing through the day.
The good news is, the warm temperatures (mid 20’s F) above treeline will help to stabilize the new snow relatively quickly. Your best bet at triggering an avalanche is to step on a very fresh wind loaded slope. Watch for wind loading in action and areas where the snow is more cohesive and cracking around you. These slabs should be in the 5-10″ range and fairly soft.
Below is a look at yesterday’s surface. This area, in the Summit Lake region, is quite wind affected, however many areas still harbor soft settled powder.
Dry snow sluffs at the upper elevations are possible while wet, or moist, snow sluffs are possible near treeline. Temperatures look to climb to 32F near treeline, which will moisten any new snow that falls. These should be low volume and something to keep in mind on steep slopes over 40 degrees.
Weather yesterday was mostly cloudy with light to moderate Easterly winds. A trace of snow was picked up at Turnagain Pass with the rain/snow line near sea level. Overnight, temperatures have warmed a few degrees to the mid 20’sF on the ridgetops and 30F at treeline. This is associated with a large scale Southeasterly flow that is pumping warm air our way from the South.
Today, we are expecting a pulse of moisture embedded in the Southerly flow to add 3-5″ of new snow with slightly warming temperatures (up to 32F at treeline and the upper 20’sF on the ridgetops). Rain (and maybe a rain/snow mix) is expected at sea level. Winds should remain 15-25mph from the East.
This general pattern is expected to continue into the weekend with off-and-on snow showers above 1,000′ and rain below – amounts of snow are uncertain but look to be only a few inches here and there. We could see a break in cloud cover and precipitation tomorrow, Friday.
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||28||1||0.1||19|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||24||0||0||5|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||29||1||0.1||17|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||24||NE||15||26|
|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.