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ARCHIVED FORECAST - All forecasts expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
Issued
Wed, February 3rd, 2016 - 7:00AM
Expires
Thu, February 4th, 2016 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
Heather Thamm
The Bottom Line

Today the avalanche conditions will be increasing as a storm moves into our region. Right now a MODERATE danger rating still applies to the Alpine and Treeline elevations where wind slabs will be developing throughout the day. Should this storm intensify beyond the forecasted 6 €, avalanche danger may reach CONSIDERABLE by late afternoon. Be on the lookout for changing conditions and alter your plans should you see any obvious signs of instability like human or natural avalanche activity.

The avalanche danger is LOW below Treeline where the snowpack is disappearing and an avalanche from above is unlikely.

*South of Turnagian Pass harbors a different snowpack structure where a variety of weak layers persist within the snowpack. Click HERE for an observation from Fresno Ridge yesterday and HERE for the Summit Lake Summary. We also found buried surface hoar responsible for a very large avalanche on Saturday in the Groundhog Creek drainage (Johnson Pass area).   If travelling in these areas a cautious mindset and careful snowpack evaluation are essential.  

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Wed, February 3rd, 2016
Alpine
Above 2,500'
Moderate (2)
Avalanche risk
Treeline
1,000'-2,500'
Moderate (2)
Avalanche risk
Below Treeline
Below 1,000'
Low (1)
Avalanche risk
Alpine
Above 2,500'
Avalanche risk
Moderate (2)
Treeline
1,000'-2,500'
Avalanche risk
Moderate (2)
Below Treeline
Below 1,000'
Avalanche risk
Low (1)
Danger Scale:
No Rating (0)
Low (1)
Moderate (2)
Considerable (3)
High (4)
Extreme (5)
Avalanche Problem 1
  • Storm Slabs
    Storm Slabs
Storm Slabs
Storm Slab avalanches are the release of a cohesive layer (a slab) of new snow that breaks within new snow or on the old snow surface. Storm-slabs typically last between a few hours and few days (following snowfall). Storm-slabs that form over a persistent weak layer (surface hoar, depth hoar, or near-surface facets) may be termed Persistent Slabs or may develop into Persistent Slabs.
More info at Avalanche.org

A series of storms with a Southerly flow will be moving through Southcentral Alaska over the next few days and into the weekend. Today ridgetop winds will be in the 20-30mph with 4-6” of new snow expected to fall throughout the day. Temperatures will continue to climb, which could bring rain as high as 1200’ by this afternoon.

Wind Slabs: Expect fresh wind slabs to be tender and isolated to leeward terrain features. These slabs will be growing throughout the day and could be as thick as 12” by this afternoon. Pay attention to the wind direction and where the snow is being loaded. Shooting cracks and any observed avalanche activity is a reminder that conditions are worsening and to avoid steeper slopes.

Cornices: Cornices will continue to grow with the addition of new snow and moderate winds. These features have been tender over the last few days and may release naturally with the additional weight of blowing snow. Give cornices lots of space by avoiding travel on or below them. 

 

Moderate Northeasterly ridgetop winds were observed in Summit Lake, Fresno Ridge yesterday as well as in Turnagain Pass.

Avalanche Problem 2
  • Glide Avalanches
    Glide Avalanches
Glide Avalanches
Glide Avalanches are the release of the entire snow cover as a result of gliding over the ground. Glide avalanches can be composed of wet, moist, or almost entirely dry snow. They typically occur in very specific paths, where the slope is steep enough and the ground surface is relatively smooth. They are often proceeded by full depth cracks (glide cracks), though the time between the appearance of a crack and an avalanche can vary between seconds and months. Glide avalanches are unlikely to be triggered by a person, are nearly impossible to forecast, and thus pose a hazard that is extremely difficult to manage.
More info at Avalanche.org

Glides continue to be widespread throughout Turnagain Pass in the 1000’-2500’ elevation band. Since glide cracks can spontaneously release at any time, take the time to identify slopes with this unpredictable hazard. This week with warming temperatures and forecasted rain and snow, glides will continue widening and may release without warning. Avoid steep slopes that harbor a big “brown frown.”

 

 

 

Glide cracks observed on the East face of Seattle Ridge from Sunburst. Photo taken on Feb.1 by Graham Predeger. 

Weather
Wed, February 3rd, 2016

Yesterday Easterly winds started building in the afternoon; 20-30mph with gusts in the 40’s mph. Temperatures also started climbing with light rain falling below 700′. Overnight 3 € of new snow was recorded at Center Ridge Weather Station.

Today moderate Easterly ridgetop winds will continue throughout the day. 4-6 € of new snow is expected, and intensity will increase by early evening. Rain may push as high as 1200′.

Overnight 1.0 € of water is forecasted which could bring another 12 € of snow above 1200′ with rain below this elevation. Moderate Easterly winds may increase to strong by early tomorrow morning. Expect stormy conditions to continue for the next few days.

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

  Temp Avg (F) Snow (in) Water (in) Snow Depth (in)
Center Ridge (1880′) 31   3   0.3   92  
Summit Lake (1400′) 31   trace   0.1   27  
Alyeska Mid (1700′) 32   2   0.2   69  

RIDGETOP 24-hour data (6am – 6am)

  Temp Avg (F) Wind Dir Wind Avg (mph) Wind Gust (mph)
Sunburst (3812′) 23 ENE   24   52  
Seattle Ridge (2400′) 25   n/a   n/a     n/a    
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Riding Areas
Updated Mon, December 02nd, 2019

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
Closed.
Placer River
Closed
Closed.
Skookum Drainage
Closed
Closed.
Turnagain Pass
Closed
Closed.
Twentymile
Closed
Closed.
Seward District
Carter Lake
Closed
Closed.
Lost Lake Trail
Closed
Closed.
Primrose Trail
Closed
Closed.
Resurrection Pass Trail
Closed
Closed. Will be open for the 2019/20 season pending adequate snow cover.
Snug Harbor
Closed
Closed.
South Fork Snow River Corridor
Closed
Closed.
Summit Lake
Closed
Closed.

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