After a brief break in storms last week gave backcountry travelers an opportunity to get out into the mountains, we are back at it today with a warm, wet and windy storm rolling through for the weekend. Overnight there has been .5 to 1″ of rain below 2,000′ and roughly 5-8″ of wet snow above this. Today we are expecting another .5″ of precipitation; this equates to rain below 1,500′ and 3-5″ of wet snow above.
In the Alpine, above 2,500′, where dry snow is falling avalanche issues are expected to be confined to what we call ‘storm snow instabilities’. This means avalanches will be composed of the new storm snow and are not expected to break into layers deeper in the pack. The most likely avalanches will be on wind loaded slopes where fresh wind slabs 8-16″ have formed. These are always the most ‘touchy’ during formation or just after. Skies are not likely to clear enough today, but if they do and you find yourself in the dry snow, watch for how the winds have distributed the snow during the storm. Look for smooth rounded surfaces, hollow feeling snow and stiff snow over soft snow, these are signs of wind loading and something to steer clear of on steep slopes today.
*Cornice falls will again be a concern today with the warm temperatures. These can break at anytime on their own as well as with the weight of a person. They can trigger an avalanche below and be very dangerous.
Wet loose avalanches are expected below 2,500′ where wet snow is falling and/or rain. These wet ‘sluffs’ have the ability to entrain large amounts of wet snow and run further than expected in some cases. However, today these should only entrain the top 6-8″ of snow cover and be more moderate in size. Areas such as Seattle Ridge, above the motorized lot, may see some wet loose avalanches running today.
Photo below is of the Seattle Ridge snowmachine ‘uptrack’. Many steep slopes and gullies sit along this ridge to either side of the uptrack as well as above it. Sticking to the mellow terrain and avoiding time under these slopes and gullies will be key today.
Several glide cracks are opening and some have released in the region. As with cornices, these are best dealt with through avoidance and limiting any exposure underneath them.
Partly cloudy skies and light rain showers (below 1500′) and snow showers (above 1500′) covered the area yesterday. Ridgetop winds were generally Easterly around 20mph with gusts in the 40’s. Temperatures were warm…in the upper 30’s at l000′ and near 32 at 2000′.
Today, another warm pacific system is moving through. Overnight, between .5 and 1″ of rain has fallen from around 2000′ and below while 5-8″ of wet snow has fallen above. The Easterly winds have picked up to the 40’s mph at Sunburst ridgetop weather station with gusts in the 60’s. Through the day we are expecting to see another .5″ of rain below ~1500′ and 3-5″ of wet snow above. Ridgetop winds should remain strong, between 30-40mph from the East with stronger gusts.
On Sunday ridgetop winds are expected to remain strong and precipitation taper off slightly as we will still be in the midst of very warm moist air streaming in from the Gulf.
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||34||0 (rain)||1.1||78|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||35||0||0||26|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||34||0 (rain)||0.72||59|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||30||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|05/17/22||Turnagain||Avalanche: Sunburst||CNFAIC Staff|
|05/17/22||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan Ridge||Joe Kurtak|
|05/11/22||Turnagain||Avalanche: Cornbiscuit and Magnum west faces||CNFAIC Staff Forecaster|
|05/07/22||Turnagain||Observation: Granddaddy||Kit Barton|
|04/29/22||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst wx station||AS/ MM/ AM/ NH|
|04/28/22||Turnagain||Observation: More Turnagain Pass/Summit Lake wet slab activity||Alex Marienthal|
|04/27/22||Turnagain||Observation: Magnum||Sykes / Buttrick Forecaster|
|04/27/22||Turnagain||Observation: Girdwood/Summit/Turnagain Road obs||A S|
|04/24/22||Turnagain||Avalanche: Seattle Ridge – large glide avalanche on Repeat Offender path||CNFAIC Staff Forecaster|
|04/24/22||Turnagain||Avalanche: Seattle Ridge uptrack||Martin Schmidt|
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.