Snowfall that was intense at times yesterday has created slabs that will be tender today. Slab depths will range anywhere from a few inches to 2 feet thick. In the Alpine these slabs sit on a slick crust on South facing slopes and a variety of surfaces on North aspects. Regardless of what these slabs are sitting on, they are dense, thick and very sensitive to human triggers. Brief periods of sunshine will increase their sensitivity today. While we found the new snow well bonded to underlying surfaces in our limited observations yesterday, all slopes 35º and steeper should be treated with suspicion today. These slabs will be thickest, over 2 feet, where they have a wind component, and be found on leeward slopes around Turnagain Pass.
Cornices have been growing steadily over the last week. Yesterday was no exception. Expect cornices to be very sensitive today. Give these behemoths a very wide berth along ridgelines and avoid traveling underneath.
Conservative terrain selection will be key today, as rapid loading over the past 24 hours has created unstable conditions. Avoidance of terrain 35º and over and being in the runout of terrain from above will be critical.
The majority of slab activity should be in the 2-3’ range today. However, there is potential for slabs to step down into more deeply buried weak layers, especially on North facing slopes in the Alpine. These layers are anywhere from 3-5’ down. Should avalanches step down into these layers expect volume to be very large and high enough to make consequences of being caught very high. This is not an issue to be taken lightly. A significant load has been put onto these layers and it will take time for those layers to adjust.
Travel advice around this issue is simple for today: avoid North facing slopes in the Alpine.
Both dry and wet loose avalanches are likely on steep slopes today at all elevations today. Snow below the recent storm slabs was wet yesterday in the lower elevations. Because of this, the potential for higher volume wet loose avalanches exists in the lower elevations and will be more likely during daytime heating and sunshine today. Volume will generally be medium to high and will increase on sustained slopes that allow for entrainment.
Yesterday brought significant snow, wind and mild temps to the area. Snowfall totals over the last 24 hours:
Turnagain SNOTEL: 18 € snow/1.4 € H20
Alyeska Mid: 8 € snow/.8 € H20
Summit Lake: 1″ snow/.1″ H20
Rain/snow line was around the 500′ mark for most of the day. Winds were moderate out of the East.
Today expect lingering snow showers and cloudy skies as a large area of low pressure continues to spin in the Gulf of Alaska. Snowfall amounts will be light, in the 1-2 € range. Ridgetop winds will be out of the East at 5-10 mph. Temperatures at 1,000′ will climb into the mid 30s F.
The extended outlook is showing a very gradual change though the weekend. Expect clouds and showery conditions to linger as low pressure in the Gulf slowly moves East.
*Seattle ridge wind sensor is rimed. Average is 6am-4am.
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||29||18||1.4||77|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||33||1||.1||12|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||31||8||.8||48|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||25||*||13*||50*|
|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.