Rain to 2,000′, or higher?, say it isn’t so…. We have squeaked through the season so far with good snow coverage at the road elevation at 1,000′, but today it will be raining. Our snow coverage should remain mostly intact, but things will be wet and soggy out there. We are expecting .5″ of rain up to 2,000-2,500′ with roughly 4-6″ of dense snow above 2,500′. Hence, wet avalanches and glide avalanches will be our primary concerns.
At the mid-elevations wet loose avalanches should be expected today with rain-on-snow. These could release naturally or be triggered by a person or snowmachine on a slope. Even a small wet loose slide can entrain a significant amount of snow and become large and dangerous on long steep slopes/gullies. There is also the possibility we could see a few wet slabs, these are likely to be triggered by a wet loose slide running over from above. If you do head out today, keep an eye on steep slopes in the rain.
The warm temperatures and wet weather could initiate another glide cycle. Or at least, get a few more ‘looming cracks’ to avalanche. Anyone that has been in the Turnagain Pass area knows hundreds of glide cracks littler the slopes. Avoid being under these – today especially!
In the Alpine, where it is snowing and blowing, you can expect to see fresh wind slabs up to a foot deep. We have had 2-3″ of new snow overnight with another 4-6″ on the way today. This new snow is expected to be dense and quite sticky due to the warm temperatures. This set up usually allows these fresh wind slabs to stabilize relatively quickly. That said, if you find yourself in avalanche terrain today at the high elevations, watch for wind loaded areas, cracking in these spots and of course any recent avalanches. Wind slabs are most easily triggered while, and just after, forming.
In areas outside of our core forecast zone, including South of Turnagain Pass and the Summit Lake area, the snowpack is shallower and harbors various weak layers; the most notable weak layer is a layer of buried surface hoar 2-3′ deep in the pack. We have found these to be unreactive in the past week but with today’s warm weather, they could re-activate. For more information see this report from the Lynx Creek drainage and this avalanche triggered January 30th.
Mostly cloudy skies covered the region yesterday as a weak low-pressure system is over us currently. We had only a few light snow/rain showers with a rain/snow line around 1,200′. Winds were blowing ~15mph with gusts in the 30’s from the East on the ridgetops. Temperatures were mild, in the mid 30’sF at 1,000′ and the upper 20’s at 3,500′.
Overnight, precipitation has increased slightly and we have picked up .25″ of rain at 1,000′ with 2-3″ of snow above 2,500′. We are expecting another .5″ of rain up to 2,000′ today and 4-6″ of snow at the higher elevations. This is one of the highest rain/snow lines we have seen this season. Winds are forecast to blow strong along the peaks and ridgelines, 30-35mph with gusts in the 60’s. Temperatures will be warm….up to 30F at 3,500′ and 40F at 1,000′.
For Friday and into the weekend this warm and unsettled weather pattern looks to remain over us. However, as is usually the case, we could see some breaks in cloud cover and sunshine poke through here and there.
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||34||Slush||0.2||107|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||35||0||0||31|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||33||0.3 slush||0.45||90|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||28||–||–||–|
|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|
|11/29/19||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst Ob #1||Aleph Johnston-Bloom Forecaster|
|11/27/19||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan||Aleph Johnston-Bloom Forecaster|
|11/25/19||Turnagain||Observation: Sunnyside||Graham Predeger 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: email@example.com
|Area||Status||Weather & Riding Conditions|
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