Yesterday winds were moving snow, a few inches of snow fell overnight and more is in the forecast for today. Winds remain strong enough to load slopes. This wind direction is opposite of the wind event on Thursday so leeward slopes will also be opposite. Fresh wind slabs may form throughout the day and be sensitive to triggering. Steep, unsupported, leeward slopes and ridgeline starting zones will be most suspect. There may also be old stubborn wind slabs from previous loading. Be on the lookout for wind transporting snow and pillowed or drifted areas. Avoid places where the snow feels stiffer and more affected by winds and watch for cracking.
Wind transport on Seattle Ridge yesterday.
Cracking in wind affected snow on Tincan yesterday.
The storm is forecasted to continue today but there is still some uncertainty about how much snow will fall and which sections of the avalanche advisory area will be favored. So far the winner is Summit Lake with 9″ overnight. Center Ridge Snotel has only received 2″ so far but expect the southern end of the Turnagain Pass towards Johnson to have higher snowfall amounts already. Turnagain Pass could receive anywhere from 4″ to over a foot today. If the upper amounts are received there is potential for storm slab avalanches in places where the new snow doesn’t bond to old snow surfaces. In addition to paying attention to new snow amounts watch for temperature changes within the storm. Warmer snow falling on colder snow can quickly make reactive slab conditions. New storm snow will also add to the potential for loose snow avalanches on steep slopes. Paying attention to changing conditions will be crucial today as the avalanche hazard could increase even at lower elevations if this storm produces.
A variety of weak layers exist within the snowpack and vary across our region. Following the most recent snowstorm (1/13-1/16) most of the avalanche activity has been observed in the Girdwood Valley. This makes sense since this storm favored this area and left 2-3’ of snow. A handful of small, but deep (to the ground) avalanches were spotted in the alpine this week on Southern aspects of Penguin Ridge, Raggedtop, and Magpie. Summit Lake also had natural avalanches from the Thursday wind event running on weak faceted snow. As more snow falls today remember triggering even a smaller persistent slab could bury a person or take you for a very unfavorable ride over rocks. Pay attention to areas where you can feel weak (sugary) snow under a stiffer snow. If you see recent avalanche activity, experience shooting cracks, or “whumpfing” these are obvious clues that you should avoid steep slopes.
Yesterday was mostly cloudy with a few snowflakes falling in the afternoon. Temperatures were in the high teens to low 20Fs, notably warmer than the previous few days. Winds were Easterly blowing 15-25 mph gusting into the 30s.
Overnight a front impacted the area favoring Summit Lake and south. Turnagain received a couple of inches and just inch fell in Girdwood. Snowfall is expected to continue throughout the day will an additional 4-7 inches possible. Winds will be from the SE 5-15 mph with gusts into the 20s. There is some convective potential with this system and overall uncertainty in total snowfall amounts. Temperatures will be in the teens into the mid 20Fs
Tonight snow showers may linger with another 2-4 inches and light E winds. Temperatures will be in the teens. Tomorrow the unsettled weather pattern continues as another system moves towards the region. Stay tuned for snow amounts and temperatures.
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||16||2||.2||43|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||17||9||.9||24|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||18||1||.1||38|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||13||SE||22||35|
|01/19/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: south facing aspect on 3800ft bump just northeast of 4940||Anonymous|
|01/19/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Cornbiscuit & Magnum||Allen Dahl|
|01/19/20||Turnagain||Observation: Eddie’s||Kakiko Ramos-Leon|
|01/18/20||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst||Ryan Van Luit Forecaster|
|01/18/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Sunburst||Eric Roberts|
|01/18/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: North end Tincan trees||Heather Johnson|
|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|
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.