A high wind warning has been issued for Thompson Pass and the Matanuska Valley as a tight pressure gradient forces cold Northern air through the Southcentral region. Luckily for Turnagain Pass and Girdwood we are slightly sheltered from this predominant Northeast flow, and winds are only expected to reach 20-30mph today along ridgetops. However the wind chill factor could be as low as -20F with temperatures expected to dip into the single digits (F.)
For Turnagain Pass this does not fair well for the overall skiing and riding quality we’ve been enjoying for the last two weeks. 2-6” of poorly bonded surface snow sitting on a firm bed surface below is likely to blow around today, and could form isolated shallow wind slabs up to 8” thick. These wind slabs could be triggered on the leeward side of steep terrain features and will be of most concern in high consequence terrain where taking a fall could cause injury. Avoid pillow-like features on steep terrain and pay attention for obvious signs of a tender wind slab like shooting cracks and hollow sounding snow.
In the Girdwood Valley facets forming under a crust have been found within the first 12” of the snowpack between 4000’ and 5000’, and has shown some propagation potential in test pits. This weak layer is sitting on a firm bed surface could become more sensitive today with wind loading. This is an additional reason to avoid steep terrain. This is slightly outside of our normal forecast zone, but is worth pointing out since so many people have been getting high into the Alpine over the last week.
Today might be a pretty uncomfortable day if you choose to venture into the mountains. With temperatures expected to dip into the single digits and winds forecasted as high as 30mph, the wind chill could reach -20F. Dress appropriately and remember to keep your face and extremities well insulated and covered.
Yesterday skies were clear and the inverted air kept temperatures in the single digits (F) near sea level and temperatures reached 20F along ridgetops. Winds were light out of the East with and no new precipitation recorded for almost a week.
As of this morning the ridgetop winds out of the Northeast in Girdwood have increased into 20’s (mph) along ridge tops €“ this is the first sign of sustained moderate Northeast winds forecasted for today. A high pressure over the interior and low pressure in the Gulf of Alaska is causing a tight pressure gradient over the Copper River Basin. A high wind waning has been issued for Thompson Pass and the Matanuska Valley. Northeast winds are expected to be 20-30mph hour today through Turnagain Pass and Girdwood. Temperatures will be in the teens to single digits F. This could produce a wind chill as low as -20F along ridgetops. Skies will remain sunny and clear and no new precipitation is expected with the arrival of this wind event.
Sustained Northeast winds up to 30mph are expected to last through Saturday with temperatures remaining in the single digits (F.) Clear skies will become partly cloudy Saturday night into Sunday. There is a hint of a pattern change happening early into the week with a possibility of snow.
*Alyeska Midway Weather Station data only available from 7am-11am on Feb.5,2015
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||11||0||0||31|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||3||0||0||7|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||*9||*0||*0||*21|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||14||E||4||12|
|05/06/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Pastoral Peak, north face||Andy Duenow|
|04/10/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Wolverine||Mike Records|
|04/10/20||Turnagain||Observation: Eddies lookers right shoulder||Matt Yoder|
|04/09/20||Turnagain||Observation: Bench Peak||Mike Records|
|04/04/20||Turnagain||Observation: Pete’s North||Anonymous|
|03/26/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan – Proper (SW facing)||CNFAIC Staff|
|03/26/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Seattle Ridge||W Wagner Forecaster|
|03/25/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Sunburst Uptrack @ 2000′||J. Boisvert|
|03/24/20||Turnagain||Observation: Turnagain – Road Observations||W Wagner Forecaster|
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: email@example.com
|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.