Will daytime temperatures reach a season high today?
Sunny skies combined with unseasonable warm weather could push temperatures into the high 40F’s to mid 50F’s today. Last night was the second night in a row of above freezing temperatures in the mid elevation zone and rain/snow line yesterday was observed around 2500’. At treeline 4-6” of wet snow is sitting on a supportable crust where wet loose avalanches will be a concern today on slopes steeper than 35 degrees. The size will be directly proportional to the size of the terrain, and larger slopes will be more dangerous where more snow is available to entrain and pick up momentum. In the alpine where drier snow is sitting on a smooth bed surface there is more potential for moist/wet slab activity. Pay attention for rollerballs and avoid being on or under steep slopes today. The danger will increase with warming temperatures and solar impact throughout the day.
In Girdwood and Portage Valley where more snow has fallen over the last three days, expect wet loose activity to be larger. Cautious routefinding and a conservative mindset will be the best strategy for travel in the backcountry.
The glide avalanche cycle continues without interruption. Yesterday another handful of new glide releases were identified between Girdwood and Turnagain Pass including a large glide avalanche that stopped just short of the Turnagain Arm bike path on Penguin Ridge.
In Turnagain Pass a glide crack on Seattle Ridge has been growing and is starting to threaten portions of the common uptrack. A recent glide avalanche in this location, above this glide crack occurred on 3/29 in conjuntion with a storm slab. The debris pile is quite large and runs over well-traveled terrain. This should definitely warrant concern, today’s warm temperatures will only be weakening the snowpack. Glide avalanches are completely unpredictable and could happen at any moment, avoidance is strongly recommended.
Portions of the Seattle Ridge uptrack (in orange) are in the runout of a growing glide crack on Seattle Ridge.
View of recent glide activity on East face of Seattle Ridge with a large glide crack in the foreground on Tincan SW aspect.
Cornices remain extremely large and perched along many ridgelines. These features deserve extra space and can break farther back than expected. Triggering a cornice will become more likely later in the day with sun and warming temperatures.
Wind slabs: In the upper alpine (above 3500’) where temperatures have remained below freezing, wind slabs remain a concern on unsupported slopes and will be more suspect during the heat of the day with warming temperatures. These wind slabs could be extra touchy where they are sitting on a stout melt freeze crust below.
Yesterday skies were mostly cloudy and with light scattered showers throughout the region. Ridgetop winds were averaged in the 20’s mph from the East. Temperatures ranged in the 30F to mid 40F’s, and remained above freezing overnight in the mid elevation zone. Temperatures in the alpine were just below freezing yesterday and overnight.
Today skies will be mostly sunny with patches of fog. Daytime ambient air temperatures may reach the 50F’s at sea level and 40F’s in the alpine. Winds are expected to be light to moderate from the East and no new precipitation is expected today.
Tomorrow a front will move through Southcentral Alaska bringing another round of rain showers. Temperatures are expected to remain above freezing in the mid elevations and rain/snow line is expected to be around 3000′.
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||39||rain||0.2||123|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||39||rain||0.1||39|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||36||rain||0.13||108|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||31||SE||31||59|
|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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