Today’s avalanche concerns will be based on how today’s changing weather affects our region. Should 4-8” of new snow and Moderate Easterly winds arrive as forecasted, expect surface instabilities (wind slabs, loose snow, and storm slabs) to increase in size throughout the day. Pay attention for rapid loading and blowing snow along ridgetops and how well this new snow is bonding with the surfaces below. If you see any obvious signs of instability like shooting cracks or recent avalanches be prepared to alter your plans. The following avalanche problems will be directly proportional to the amount of snow and wind we receive today.
Wind slabs – There is currently a lot of low-density snow available for transport on shaded (NE to NW) aspects. Expect wind slabs to grow in size by mid to late afternoon as winds starts to build from the East. Be on the lookout for blowing snow, shooting cracks and pillow shaped pockets on leeward aspects.
Loose snow: Dry loose avalanches will be possible in steeper terrain and will grow in size throughout the morning. If for some reason the sun makes an appearance today, slopes with a southerly tilt, may experience natural wet loose avalanches.
Storm slabs: Storm slabs will likely be more of an issue later today in places protected from the wind. Again this will be directly proportional to the amount of snow that falls and will be an added reason to avoid steep terrain later in the day.
This week has been one of our most active glide avalanche cycles of the winter with dozens of dirty streaks observed in Girdwood, Turnagain Pass and Summit Lake. Yesterday a new glide avalanche was seen on the East side Seattle Ridge and another that occured late afternoon on a South aspect of Raggedtop in Girdwood.
Glide cracks cover all aspects within the mid elevation band (between 1000-3000’) and remain a significant threat to popular terrain. As long as glide cracks continue to open up, move and release, we will stress the importance of avoiding them, which is THE ONLY WAY TO MANAGE THIS AVALANCHE PROBLEM. Remember these are totally unpredictable, release naturally and could be deadly if you were to get caught-up in one. It is the entire winter snowpack releasing at the ground.
There is a lot of terrain where glide cracks can be challenging to see from the groud level. Here’s an arial view taken of the SW face of Cornbiscuit on Wed, 3/16. Photo by Jared Gross.
Penguin Ridge has been very active this week. This is a good reminder that there are summer trails that are threatened by avalanche terrain from above. This trail will remain closed through the winter.
Yesterday skies were mostly cloudy and winds were calm. Daytime temperatures reached the mid 30’s F and overnight temperatures dipped into the low 20’s F. A trace of new snow fell overnight at Turnagain Pass.
Today a low-pressure system is moving into our region and 4-8 € of new snow is expected today. Light Northerly winds will become East and will increase to Moderate by the afternoon. Temperatures will gradually warm throughout the day, with highs expected in the mid 30F’s. Rain is possible at lower elevations by later afternoon.
Snow showers are expected throughout the weekend and temperatures will steadily increase causing rain at lower elevations tonight into tomorrow. An additional 8-12 € snow is forecasted for the upper elevations tonight through tomorrow morning. Winds are expected to remain Moderate from the East.
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||26||2||0.1||134|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||28||2||0.1||45|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||25||2||n/a||109|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||22||NE||2||5|
|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: email@example.com
|Area||Status||Weather & Riding Conditions|
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