The exciting news for this morning is a dramatic change in the weather pattern and the potential for significant snowfall tomorrow; significant for this season, anyhow. We are looking at 8-15+ inches in the Girdwood and Turnagain Pass areas so stay tuned on tomorrow’s advisory.
Until then, we continue to have minor surface instabilities in the form of old shallow wind slabs and easily triggered loose snow sluffs to worry about in very steep terrain. Otherwise, triggering an avalanche remains unlikely until the new snow starts piling up.
If you are headed out today and the visibility is good enough (clouds are just beginning to stream in from the South) things to keep in mind are:
In anticipation of snowfall, we have been mapping the surface conditions. Below are the three main types of surface conditions out there. A foot or more of new snow will have a hard time sticking to all these surfaces initially – due to pure rapid loading. However, the areas with loose faceted snow covering a slope will be the most concerning several days post storm. If you head to Turnagain Pass this week, we want to know what you are seeing. Please pass on any observations you have on our new “submit an observation” form – link on the menu bar – thanks in advance!
Current surface conditions:
Loose faceted snow Breakable wind crust Sastrugi and other hard wind affected surfaces
Yesterday marked our 7th and final day of clear and COLD weather. Temperatures hovered in the minus single digits at all elevations and winds were light from the West.
Today we have cloudy skies and flurries on tap. At 4am this morning, winds have shifted to the East at the Sunburst weather station associated with a warm front that is moving in ahead of a large-scale low pressure system centered South of the Aleutians. Temperatures are just starting to rise as well with the warm front and should reach the mid 20’s F at 1,000′ and the upper teens on the ridgetops. The Easterly ridgetop winds should be in the 10-25mph zone before really ramping up late tonight and tomorrow. Only 1-2″ of snow is expected this afternoon.
Precipitation amounts from tonight through Monday night are in the 1-1.5″ H20 range; which equates to 10-15+” of snow at the upper elevations. The rain/snow line will start off at sea level and rise through tomorrow to around 500′ and possibly as high as 1,000′.
Warm Southerly flow bringing snow showers to the upper elevations with a rain/snow mix at sea level will continue through the week.
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||4||0||0||43|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||-2||0||0||9|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||5||0||0||26|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||-3||SW||9||24|
|01/19/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Cornbiscuit||Schauer/ Johnston-Bloom Forecaster|
|01/19/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Sunburst and Tincan||CNFAIC Staff|
|01/19/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Seattle Ridge||CNFAIC Staff|
|01/19/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan 2900′ SW aspect below Hippy Bowl.||Kris Marshall|
|01/18/21||Turnagain||Observation: Turnagain Pass Road Obs.||A Schauer Forecaster|
|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|
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.