With an onslaught of warm, powerful storms since early last week we saw a peak in natural avalanche activity on Friday/ Saturday with rain up to 2500’ and 100+ mph winds through Turnagain pass. Overall the snowpack will continue to gain strength and adjust today with slightly colder temps and a lack of active weather but areas of instabilities may exist. Above 2500’ where the snow has stayed dry, steep leeward slopes may be harboring pockets of wind slab that could be susceptible to a human trigger. Shooting cracks, whumphing or a hollow drum-like feel to the surface are clues that you’ve stepped onto a wind slab. The snowpack is still quite shallow out there. Getting knocked off your feet from even a small avalanche will translate to an unpleasant ride.
General snowpack structure in the mid-elevations, Turnagain pass. Total height of snow here is about 28″.
Though we’ve seen a lack of avalanche activity since the peak of the storm post-Thanksgiving, keep in mind we have had 4+” of water over the last 5 days in the eastern Turnagain arm area. This translates to more than 4’ of snow in some upper elevation areas, potentially overlaying weak snow from our cold snap earlier in November. With a lack of information from periphery areas such as the Girdwood Valley, it’ll be prudent to approach any steep, upper elevation terrain with added caution today.
Yesterday provided a reprieve from the rain with only light, intermittent showers across eastern Turnagain arm. Temperatures hovered around 36F all day at 1,000′ while ridge tops cooled slightly to the mid-20’s. Ridgetop winds were less than 20 mph out of the east.
Today we can expect patchy fog and mostly overcast skies. Temperatures appear to be dropping slightly to the low 30’s at 1,000′ and we can expect a few lingering showers to deposit 1-2 € of snow at and above ~1500′. Winds will be light out of the East.
Expect an overall decrease in temperatures (return toward normal) and more unsettled, active weather through the week as the next low pressure moves into our region.
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||29||2||.2||22|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||27||1||.1||10|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||32||1||.06||16|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||26||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|12/10/19||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan and Sunburst from the air||CNFAIC Staff|
|12/10/19||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan||Nancy Pfeiffer|
|12/08/19||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan||Ryan Van Luit Forecaster|
|12/06/19||Turnagain||Avalanche: Sunburst||Billy Finley|
|12/04/19||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst||A.Johnston-Bloom/ W.Wagner/ R.Van Luit Forecaster|
|12/03/19||Turnagain||Observation: Hippy Bowl||Nick Langowski|
|12/01/19||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan, All elevations||Eric Roberts|
|12/01/19||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan||Andy Moderow|
|11/30/19||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan Treeline Plateau/ Common Bowl/ Ridge||Eric Roberts|
|11/29/19||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst Ob #2||Aleph Johnston-Bloom 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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