Over the last three days cooler temps have helped freeze and stabilize the snowpack following a large wet storm that caused a widespread avalanche cycle this past weekend. A supportable crust has formed on all aspects below 4000’ and a few inches of new snow is sitting on top. If winds are calm as forecasted today, the sun could heat up this surface snow quickly and start breaking down the crust below it.
Wet loose avalanches will be possible both in the alpine at mid elevations. Expect activity to be of the most concern on Eastern aspects where the snowpack is thin and the sun has the most affect earlier in the day. On Southern and Western aspects pay attention as a supportable crust begins to soften in the afternoon. If you find the snow becoming wet and heavy avoid steep sun baked aspects. It will be on these aspects where a wet loose avalanche could be difficult to ski/ride out of as it starts to entrain snow and gain momentum.
In a pit at 3550′ on Sunburst several melt/freeze crusts were found winin the top meter of the snowpack. These crusts were formed by rain and wet snow that fell last weekend (4/17-4/19.)
A D2 avlanche on Taylor Pass released last weekend during a large storm that brought gale force winds and heavy rain to Southcentral Alaska. Luckily cool temperatures over the last few days have allowed the snowpack to freeze and stabilze quickly.
Northeast winds yesterday morning formed wind slabs up to 12” thick on leeward features along ridgetops. These small isolated pockets are a low consequence hazard and unlikely to bury a person. However if venturing into steep terrain be on the lookout for tender pockets that could knock you off your feet in the wrong place.
Wind transported snow exists on leeward features near ridgetops like along the uptrack on the Western ridge of Sunburst.
Yesterday morning temperatures were in the mid 20 F, skies were mostly cloudy and winds were 15-20mph from the Northeast along ridgetops. By mid afternoon skies cleared and ridgetop winds became calm from the Northeast. Daytime temperatures warmed into the low 40s F at lower elevations and low 30s F in the alpine.
Overnight temperatures cooled into the 20s F and winds remained light from the Northeast. No new precipitation was recorded yesterday in Turnagain Pass.
Today clear skies and calm winds will allow daytime temperatures to reach the mid 30s F in the alpine and high 40s F at sea level. Winds will be calm from the Northeast and no precipitation is expected.
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||33||0||0||73|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||32||1||0.1||14|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||34||0||0||46|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||26||n/a||7||26|
|01/20/21||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst||Johnston-Bloom / Roberts Forecaster|
|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|
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.