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Turnagain Pass Avalanche Forecast RSS

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ARCHIVED FORECAST - All forecasts expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
Issued
Sun, March 15th, 2015 - 7:00AM
Expires
Mon, March 16th, 2015 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
Wendy Wagner
The Bottom Line

The avalanche danger remains LOW  at all elevations in the Turnagain Pass area and surrounding zones. Finding a shallow old wind slab in steep complex terrain or triggering a loose snow sluff on steep slopes remain the only avalanche concerns. This will all change tomorrow as a potent winter storm is moving in!

**The National Weather Service has issued a WINTER STORM WATCH beginning tonight and extending through Monday. Avalanche danger will be on a rapid rise late tonight and into Monday along with 8-15+” of snow and strong wind in the forecast.  

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Sun, March 15th, 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
  • Announcement
    Announcement

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:

  • Safe travel practices – exposing one person at time, watching our partners and good communication
  • Having an escape route planned
  • Watching your sluff

 

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
    

Weather
Sun, March 15th, 2015

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.

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

  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  

RIDGETOP 24-hour data (6am – 6am)

  Temp Avg (F) Wind Dir Wind Avg (mph) Wind Gust (mph)
Sunburst (3812′) -6   W 7   21  
Seattle Ridge (2400′) -3   SW   9   24  
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Riding Areas
Updated Fri, May 01st, 2020

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

Area Status Weather & Riding Conditions
Glacier District
Johnson Pass
Closed
Placer River
Closed
Skookum Drainage
Closed
Turnagain Pass
Closed
Closed as of May 1. Thanks for a fun, safe season!
Twentymile
Closed
Seward District
Carter Lake
Closed
Lost Lake Trail
Closed
Primrose Trail
Closed
Resurrection Pass Trail
Closed
Snug Harbor
Closed
South Fork Snow River Corridor
Closed
Summit Lake
Closed

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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.