A low pressure system in the Eastern Gulf will combine with cool Northern arctic air over Southcentral Alaska today. There is a “fair amount of uncertainty on snow amounts” impacting Turnagain Pass, but expect snow totals to be anywhere between 5-15 inches. Moderate Easterly winds (10-25mph) are also expected which could easily increase the avalanche danger throughout the day especially if snowfall intensifies. It will be important to adapt your travel plans to changing weather conditions and be on the lookout for any signs of instability; shooting cracks, whumphing sounds, or recent avalanches.
Don’t forget what this snow is falling on. A reactive layer of buried surface hoar from Nov.16 lies below 1-2 feet of old snow. This widespread layer exists on all aspects and has been the culprit in dozens human triggered avalanches over the last two weeks including the most recent on Sunday Nov.27 in Seattle Creek area. Today’s weather has the potential to re-load this weak layer increasing the likelihood for human triggered avalanches. Slab depths could be as thick at 1.5-3 feet thick depending on snowfall amounts. Cautious route choices and conservative decision making will be essential today.
Buried surface hoar is still a very visible layer and continues to be reactive in tests pits. Photo taken at 3200′ on a SW aspect of Tincan on 11/27 by Aleph Johnston-Bloom
Today’s new snow will be falling on weak old snow; snow that has been ‘faceting’ due to cold temperatures this week. The combination of wind and the possibility of higher snowfall totals (up to 15″) could produce storm slabs 1’ thick both in the alpine and at treeline.
Watch for glide cracks and remember to limit time under these, there have been a handful that released last week. *Several cracks have been opening in popular terrain like Tincan’s Common bowl and the SW face of Sunburst.
Yesterday was cold and clear. Temperatures were in the single digits and light to moderate ridgetop winds made for a windchill of -5F to -20F below zero. Winds varied from North to Southwest and no new precipitation was recorded.
Today 5-15 inches of snowfall (up to 0.5 inches of water) is expected today in the upper elevations of Turnagain Pass. Temperatures will start out cold and warm up in to the 20F’s throughout the day. Easterly ridgetop winds are expected to be moderate (10-25mph.)
Tonight and tomorrow more snow is expected throughout the region. Its hard to say how much will impact our area, but temperatures are staying cool enough that it should all fall as snow.
***We are happy to report as of 3pm yesterday Sunburst Weather Station is back online!
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||6||0||0||17|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||1||0||0||3|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||8||0||0||5|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||7||NW||11||39|
|01/31/23||Turnagain||Observation: Johnson Pass area||Megan Guinn / W Wagner Forecaster|
|01/29/23||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan Backdoor||AAS-Level 1 1/27-1/30|
|01/28/23||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst||Brooke Edwards|
|01/28/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Seattle Ridge||W Wagner|
|01/28/23||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan Common||Tony Naciuk|
|01/27/23||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst||John Sykes|
|01/27/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Lynx Creek||Megan Guinn / W Wagner|
|01/25/23||Turnagain||Observation: Cornbiscuit||John Sykes Forecaster|
|01/22/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan||Schauer/ Guinn|
|01/21/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Seattle Ridge||Elias Holt|
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.