|Travel Advice||Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.||Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.||Dangerous avalanche conditions. Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious route-finding, and conservative decision-making essential.||Very dangerous avalanche conditions. Travel in avalanche terrain not recommended.||Extraordinarily dangerous avalanche conditions. Avoid all avalanche terrain.|
|Likelihood of Avalanches||Natural and human-triggered avalanches unlikely.||Natural avalanches unlikely; human-triggered avalanches possible.||Natural avalanches possible; human-triggered avalanches likely.||Natural avalanches likely; human-triggered avalanches very likely.||Natural and human-triggered avalanches certain.|
|Avalanche Size and Distribution||Small avalanches in isolated areas or extreme terrain.||Small avalanches in specific areas; or large avalanches in isolated areas.||Small avalanches in many areas; or large avalanches in specific areas; or very large avalanches in isolated areas.||Large avalanches in many areas; or very large avalanches in specific areas.||Very large avalanches in many areas.|
A slow and steady spring time shed cycle persists. This is where above freezing temperatures cause the snowpack to loose its strength and becomes wet and saturated releasing naturally or with the weight of a person/snowmachine. The last two nights we’ve seen temperatures dip below freezing again in the upper elevations – causing a crust to form. Unfortunately this re-freeze is superficial and clouds have kept some heat in and mid elevations temps are still above freezing. Today and tomorrow it will be important to monitor this crust and pay attention to how much the sun and/or rain showers break it down. This is the time of year when avalanches from above can catch you by surprise. Solar aspects in the afternoon and evening are most vulnerable. Be aware that steep rocky areas with thin snow coverage heat up fast and natural activity will be more likely in these areas – including slopes that have already seen lots of avalanche activity. For Friday: If skies remain cloudy overnight and temperatures remain above freezing in the alpine a surface crust on Northern aspects may start to melt, making wet avalanches possible on all aspects.
WET SLAB, WET LOOSE and CORNICE FALLS:
Things to keep in mind if you are headed out:
Similar to the wet issues above, glide avalanches are also occurring with the springtime melt-down. Glide cracks are opening up and releasing on many slopes in the region – steer clear of any slopes harboring glide cracks. Check out the photo below from the motorized up-track. This slope is notorious for producing glide avalanches. Additional glide avalanche activity is expected today and through the week.
There are several buried persistent weak layers in the snowpack; ranging from buried surface hoar 2-6′ deep, mid-pack facets and facets near the ground. Shallow snowpack zones such as the Summit Lake area harbor depth hoar near the ground. On upper elevation North, West and Easterly aspects these weak layers could re-activate if the surface crust starts to melt and become wet on these aspects. If this melting occurrs triggering a larger natural slab avalanche may be possible.
Yesterday skies were partly clouding with scattered rain showers. Northerly ridgetop winds were light. Day time temperatures reached a high of 55F in the mid elevations and 40F in the upper elevations. Late in the evening widespread thin cloud cover was observed across the forecast zone. Overnight temperatures reached a low of 29F in the upper elevations and 35F in the mid elevations.
Today scattered rain showers will persist and patches of sunny skies are possible. Only a trace of precip (0.05″) is expected today and up to 0.15″ overnight. Daily temperatures are expected to reach the mid 50Fs in the afternoon and 40F in the upper elevations. Overnight lows are expected to remain above freezing (mid 30F’s) in the mid elevations reach just below freezing (30F) in the alpine. Winds are expected to remain light from the North.
A very similar weather pattern is expected Friday and into the weekend. Scattered rain showers and partly cloudy skies are expected vary accross the forecast region. Easterly ridge top winds may increase Friday night into Saturday, 15-20mph.
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||45||0||0||54|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||41||0||0||13|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||41||0||.03||50|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||n/a||E||3||10|
|11/27/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan Ridge||Schauer/ Stiassny Forecaster|
|11/26/23||Turnagain||Observation: Road report: Slide with dirt on Repeat offender||Anonymous|
|11/26/23||Turnagain||Observation: Pete’s North||Ben Sullender|
|11/25/23||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan trees||John Sykes Forecaster|
|11/21/23||Observation: Spokane Creek||John Sykes Forecaster|
|11/19/23||Turnagain||Observation: Magnum – PMS Bowl||Schauer/ Cullen/ Jonas Forecaster|
|11/19/23||Other Regions||Observation: Sunnyside/Penguin||Jose Ramos-Leon|
|11/19/23||Turnagain||Observation: Eddies||Andy Moderow|