Field observations and a lack of avalanche activity over the last several days have given us increased confidence in a strengthening snowpack. With only modest amounts of new snow showing up precipitation hasn’t been a huge factor in increasing avalanche danger, allowing the snowpack to adjust accordingly, a couple inches at a time. The most concerning interface in our snowpack at this point is the Nov. 18th rain crust (below ~3,500’). This can be easily found through pole probing, hand pits or digging a full pit. Recent test results are showing signs of good strength and bonding to this layer.
Winds have been moderate at ridge top locations gusting up to the low 40’s from the north and east. Caution will be warranted today on steep, leeward slopes at these higher elevations where a shallow wind slab (up to 12” deep) could be found. Approach this terrain carefully; looking, listening and feeling for a wind slab prior to committing to a slope.
At mid elevations between 1,000 and 2,000 feet the surface snow is moist and somewhat gloppy. With temperatures on the rise today, any rain we may see in this elevation band could spike the danger for small, wet loose sluffs. In steep terrain these have the potential to entrain a significant amount of snow. Fortunately, as of 6am this morning forecasted precipitation appears to be minimal for the eastern Turnagain arm zone.
A quick snapshot of depth and structure of our snowpack on the motorized side of Turnagain pass.
Yesterday we experienced mostly cloudy skies with light to moderate winds from the northeast. Snowfall rates were minimal with perhaps an inch stacking up throughout the day in the Turnagain pass area. Rain was off and on for much of the day below about 500 feet. Temperatures were hovering right around 32 degrees at the road level (1,000′)
Today appears to be a slight break in this general pattern of warm, moist air streaming into our region. Though warming slightly from yesterday with temps expected to be around 36 degrees at 1,000′ the associated precipitation looks to be minimal with just a trace of rain/ snow forecasted today. Any precip we do pick up will be all rain at sea level with that rain/ snow line hovering around 1,500 feet. Winds will be predominantly from the east in the 10-25mph range at ridgetop locations.
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||32||1||.1||20|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||30||0||0||5|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||31||1||0.1||19|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||26||NNE||19||37|
|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|
|01/12/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Seattle Ridge/Center Ridge||A Schauer Forecaster|
|01/11/21||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan Trees||Schauer/ Roberts Forecaster|
|01/10/21||Turnagain||Observation: Center Ridge Meadows||Alaska Avalanche School Pro 1 Course Latosuo|
|01/10/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan trees||Anonymous|
|01/09/21||Turnagain||Observation: Johnson Pass||Anonymous|
|01/08/21||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst meadow between Hemlocks||Anonymous|
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.