Overnight a foot of new snow has fallen in the upper elevations of Turnagain Pass and Girdwood and another 10-20” of snow is expected today. This new snow combined with strong Easterly winds and warming temperatures will be forming unstable storm slabs and adding stress to preexisting weak layers within the snowpack. This new snow has fallen on surface hoar and near-surface facets and slabs are expected to be sensitive and easy to trigger. Below 2000’ these weak layers are sitting on a slick crust and could catch you by surprise in more protected areas and on small terrain features. Stormy weather today will be increasing the avalanche hazard, as slabs grown in size, and natural avalanches will become more likely as the day moves on. Should you venture out today, stick it low angle slopes, less than 30 degrees and avoid being under the runout of larger slopes above. Shooting cracks and collapsing sounds “whumpfing” are expected and will be obvious signs the snow is unstable. This is a good day to ride in the flats and keep your terrain choices mellow. Don’t forget even small terrain feature can have high consequences.
Rapid loading due to new snow and winds will be adding stress to existing week layers within the snowpack. We have been tracking a layer of buried surface hoar from the New Year’s holiday, which still is showing propagation potential in test pits above 2500’. Triggering a storm slab could step down to this layer producing a large to very large avalanche depending on the size of the slope. In addition, a Deep Persistent Slab problem remains a concern in the upper elevations above 3000’, and serves as one of the many reason to not go into the alpine today. In fact – today is a great day to stay on low angle terrain and practice your rescue skills.
Several week layers exist within the snowpack, additional reasons to avoid travel in avalanche terrain.
Snow started falling yesterday morning and continued overnight with 0.7 € of Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) at Center Ridge Snotel and 0.62 € SWE at Alyeska Midway station. Unfortunately the Snotel site was not recording height of snow this morning, but Alyeska midway station recored 11 € since yesterday. Easterly ridgetop winds averaged in the 30’s mph with gusts reaching the 60’s mph on Sunburst. Gusty valley winds were also observed along the road corridor at Turnagain Pass. Temps gradually increased overnight with sea level temps reaching the mid 36F’s this morning and transitioning to rain just above sea level.
Today 0.8 € SWE, another 10-12 € of snow is expected during the day and double this amount midnight. Winds will continue to blow from East, 20-40mph and temperatures are expected to continue to warm with high’s in the upper 30F’s at sea level. Rain/snow line is likely to bump up to 500′ by this afternoon.
Tomorrow more rain and snow and Easterly winds are on tap as another front moves into our region. Temperatures are expected to increase into the 40Fs at sea level and rain/snow line will continue to move up in elevation, possibly as high as 1500′ by Sunday.
*New snow was estimated at Center Ridge Snotel based on similar SWE (Water inches) at Alyeska midway station.
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||31||*12||0.7||*54|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||29||0||0||15|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||28||11||0.62||45|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||23||SE||20||41|
|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|
|11/29/19||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst Ob #1||Aleph Johnston-Bloom Forecaster|
|11/27/19||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan||Aleph Johnston-Bloom Forecaster|
|11/25/19||Turnagain||Observation: Sunnyside||Graham Predeger 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: email@example.com
|Area||Status||Weather & Riding Conditions|
Subscribe to Turnagain Pass
Avalanche Forecast by Email