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ARCHIVED FORECAST - All forecasts expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
Issued
Tue, January 20th, 2015 - 7:00AM
Expires
Wed, January 21st, 2015 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
Wendy Wagner
Avalanche risk The Bottom Line

There is a  LOW avalanche danger at all elevations in the forecast zone this morning. The danger may rise to MODERATE  this afternoon at the high elevations due to an increase in Northerly winds. If this is the case, watch for shallow wind slabs being formed – up to 6-8″ thick.

Remember, LOW doesn’t mean NO. If you are venturing to the high peaks, finding a fresh wind slab will be possible. This is most likely in the periphery of our forecast area, such as the Portage Valley and Summit Lake regions.

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Tue, January 20th, 2015
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

One of the primary concerns in the backcountry remains the challenging approach-to-the-snow conditions from the parking lot. With little to no snow below 1,500′, ascending and descending over very slick ice covered ground can get interesting. However, winter does exist in full fashion above 2,500′ and quality riding and skiing conditions can be had.

There is one potential game changer for later today, however. The wind. Winds are on tap to shift to the North this morning and increase just enough to move snow around by this afternoon. If you are out in the ‘winter-zone’ today, keep tabs on the winds and know that loading patterns may be different than expected as this is not a typical wind direction.

With 4-6″ of loose snow blanketing the surface, including ridgelines, there is plenty of snow available for forming soft 6-8″ wind slabs. These will be easy to identify as you will likely see them forming or by looking for smooth rounded surface textures. Stiffer feeling snow and cracking is also a sign you have found a wind slab. If slabs do form, they are likely to be relatively small and shallow yet sensitive to human triggers. 

Glide Avalanches – 
Glide cracks continue to slowly open across the forecast zone. Limiting time spent around and under these is crucial. Even though it is cold, they are still known to release producing a destructive avalanche – as can be seen in the photo below. Most suspect terrain are unsupported slopes where there is limited compressive support for the slab from below. Eddies is a great example of this as the South face gets steeper mid and lower-slope.

Recent glide avalanche (suspected past 48 hours). Eddies South face, ~2,700′.

Weather
Tue, January 20th, 2015

Mostly clear skies greeted folks in the backcountry yesterday. Mid level clouds were just starting to inch their way in midday along with a slight bump in Northeasterly ridgetop winds, 10-15mph. Temperatures remained cool, ~30F at 1,000′ and in the low 20’s F on the ridgelines.

Today, ridgetop winds should bump up to the 15-20mph range from a Northerly direction. Cloud should also stream through due to a tight low pressure system which is moving north passes us to the East. Temperatures should remain near 32F at 1,000′ and in the low to mid 20’s F on ridgetops. No precipitation is expeced.

A mostly quiet and sunny day is expected for Wednesday while another large area of low pressure rolls in from the Gulf on Thursday. Stay tuned for this next precipitation event.

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

  Temp Avg (F) Snow (in) Water (in) Snow Depth (in)
Center Ridge (1880′) 28   0    0 29  
Summit Lake (1400′) 25   0  0 7  
Alyeska Mid (1700′) 29   0    0 19  

RIDGETOP 24-hour data (6am – 6am)

  Temp Avg (F) Wind Dir Wind Avg (mph) Wind Gust (mph)
Sunburst (3812′) 21    E 12   32  
Seattle Ridge (2400′) 23   N/A Wind   sensor is   rimed  
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Riding Areas
Updated Tue, April 20th, 2021

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

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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.