More blow than snow…? It looks like this may be the case for the storm that will be quickly moving through today. As of 6am this morning, Easterly ridgetop winds have jumped up and are averaging in the 30’s mph. Snowfall has just begun in Girdwood and a trace has fallen on Turnagain Pass. If you are thinking of heading out today, expect quite windy conditions and increasing avalanche hazard.
We are expecting anywhere from 2-6+” of new snow today. In favored areas, with over ~5″ of new snow, we can expect the strong winds to form slabs quick enough that they release naturally. In areas with lower snow amounts, new wind slabs should be relatively shallow (6-10″). Slabs could also be a bit stubborn to trigger – keep this in mind as they could allow you to get out onto them before they release. Another thing, slabs may be thicker than expected if formed over Friday’s wind slabs, adding to the consequences. Remember, expect any slab you find to be sitting on weak faceted snow and poor bonding is likely.
What to watch out for:
Photo: Wind effect on the Sunburst Ridge yesterday. In the back you can see the cross-loaded Northerly slopes on Magnum. (Thanks to Sam Galoob for sending us this picture and report)
Watch for fresh cornice growth. Small chunks of fresh pieces of cornice are likely to fall today.
During the past 24 hours we have seen partly cloudy skies and no precipitation. Ridgetop winds were light yesterday and are ramping up this morning from an Easterly direction. Temperatures sit in the upper 20’s F at the lower elevations up to treeline and have cooled slightly on the ridgelines to the upper teens.
Today, we will be on the North edge of a large area of low pressure heading East. This will usher in strong wind and some snowfall. Easterly ridgetop winds are on the rise currently and should peak with averages around 30-40mph and gusts 70-80mph. Snowfall numbers are unfortunately meager with only 3-5″ expected on Turnagain Pass, 1-2″ in Summit Lake and 8-10″ in the Portage Valley. The good news with the low staying so far South is temperatures should remain cool with a rain/snow line around sea level to 200′. Ridgetop temperatures will stay close the 20F with 1,000′ temps in the upper 20’s F.
An unsettled weather pattern will continue into the work week – it’s difficult to tell what kind of snow amounts we will see – stay tuned tomorrow morning!
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||26||trace – 1″||0.1||23|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||21||0||0||8|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||28||0.5″||0.06||15|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||22||SE||12||27|
|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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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