A quick moving storm is impacting Southcentral currently. We have seen light snowfall overnight with an additional 1-3″ expected today. The big news is however, the WIND… Westerly winds are slated to ramp up into the 30-45mph range with stronger gusts along the ridgelines.
Snowfall Totals so far:
Girdwood Valley: 3-5″
Turnagain Pass: 2-3″
Summit Lake: 3-4″
WIND SLAB AVALANCHES:
With plenty of older loose snow available for transport and a few new inches, fresh wind slab avalanches should be expected. These could release naturally, or be easily triggered by a person. They could be anywhere from a shallow 6″ slab to a thicker, more concerning, 18″ slab. This flow direction is known to load Easterly slopes on Seattle Ridge, such as Repeat Offender. On the East side of Turnagain Pass, this flow often loads Northerly slopes on ridgelines such as Tincan, Sunburst and Magnum.
*Keep in mind that newly wind loaded slopes could overload buried weak layers and a wind slab avalanche could ‘step-down’, triggering a larger slab avalanche.
We are glad to report a positive outcome to a near miss avalanche yesterday on the Lipps ridge. Three skiers were caught and carried in a slab avalanche while they were ascending the common up-track on the lower portion of Lipps. The avalanche was triggered in a thin area and propagated above them. The slab washed over all three and they were carried 1-200′ (estimate) before they all ended up on the surface of the debris. Forecasters will investigate this avalanche today and a more detailed report, with the events shared by the party members along with avalanche details, will be finalized soon. You can see more photos in the preliminary report HERE.
PERSISTENT SLAB AVALANCHES:
The Lipps slide was believed to be a persistent slab that broke in weak faceted snow 1-2′ below the surface. This set up exists South of Turnagain Pass (including Johnson Pass and Lynx drainages). There is a variety of weak layers that sit 1-3′ below the surface and triggering a slab breaking in the old snow remains possible. Pay attention to:
Photo from the Lipps avalanche yesterday taken by a member of the group involved. We thank these folks for their willingness to share.
Mostly overcast skies covered the region yesterday. Ridgetop winds were light from the North and East and no precipitation fell. Temperatures rose dramatically from single digits at 7am to 20F by 7pm (in response to a warm air mass moving through from the West).
Overnight, we have seen light snowfall in Girdwood, Turnagain Pass and Summit Lake as a warm storm system impacts Southcentral. This system looks to be favoring the Girdwood and Western Kenai Mountains, including Summit Lake, snowfall totals mentioned above and in chart below. Another 1-3″ of snowfall is forecast for today before skies begin to break up. STRONG Westerly ridgetop winds (30-45mph) are expected during today bringing cold air – it should be chilly and blizzard like on the ridgelines!
Tomorrow, the cold single digit air mass will remain over us with clear skies and no precipitation expected.
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||19||2||0.2||39|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||17||3||0.3||12|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||20||3||0.3||29|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Sunburst (3812′)||Under Repair||Under Repair||Under Repair||Under Repair|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||17||SE||15||33|
|01/17/20||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan||Allen Dahl|
|01/16/20||Turnagain||Observation: Lynx Creek||Wagner / Van Luit Forecaster|
|01/13/20||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan||Ryan Van Luit Forecaster|
|01/12/20||Turnagain||Observation: Magnum West face||Levi Oyster|
|01/10/20||Turnagain||Observation: Cornbiscuit||Allen Dahl|
|01/09/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Seattle Ridge, Minus 3 Bowl||J Davis|
|01/09/20||Turnagain||Observation: Goldpan||Billy Finley|
|01/09/20||Turnagain||Observation: Treeline on Magnum and Sunburst||Alaska Avalanche School Pro 1|
|01/08/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Seattle Ridge||Matti Silta|
|01/07/20||Turnagain||Observation: Eddies||Allen Dahl|
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|
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.