Spring time avalanche danger is upon us! Overnight temperatures remained above freezing below 1500’ and light rain has been falling in the lower elevation band. This is the first night without a freeze in the mid and lower elevations and today’s warming is expected to increase the danger. In the Alpine Easterly winds 15-45mph have been loading leeward slopes and adding stress to a very stressed out snowpack. Weak faceted snow is sitting 2-5’ below the surface and has proven to be very reactive this week. Everyday since Monday we’ve had reports of large human triggered avalanches across the region including Girdwood, Placer, Turnagain Pass, Lost Lake, Summit Lake and Grandview. Some natural avalanches have also released including an avalanche on a NE aspect of Skookum Valley with a crown almost a mile wide on Tuesday. Most of these avalanches have occurred below 3000’ and have been large enough to bury and kill a person. Some of these avalanches have been remotely triggered while others have released after the skier or snowmachiner was well onto the slope. So far we have not received any reports of anyone fully buried or injured, but several people have taken rides and deployed airbags this week. All avalanche terrain including smaller unsupported features and steep terrain in the trees are suspect.
Three snowmachine triggered avalanches on Southerly aspects in Lost Lake on Wednesday that filled up a terrain trap with 20′ of debris. A big thanks to Leif Hagen for letting us share your photos and posting these on social media.
On Wednesday a skier-triggered avalanche caught and carried 3 skiers in small terrain on Silvertip (southern Turnagain Pass) on a NE aspect around 1500’.
Yesterday a handful of skier triggered and remote triggered avalanches occurred in the Girdwood Valley of Notch Mountain. Its unknown if anyone was caught or carried. If you have any photos or info consider submitting an observation HERE. Reporting a near miss could save the life of others.
Wet loose avalanches or roller balls today are indicative of solar radiation and/ or daily warming temperatures affecting change on the snowpack. Wet loose avalanches could be small or large and have the potential to trigger larger, more dangerous slabs, particularly on southerly slopes greater than 30 degrees. We have been seeing this throughout the week and today it will be more likely if the sun pokes through the clouds.
Yesterday was overcast becoming obscured in the afternoon by rain and snow showers. Temperatures remained above freezing at 1000′ and light rain fell as high as 1500′ overnight. Two to four inches (.2 € SWE) is estimated in the upper elevations. Easterly ridge top winds increased in the afternoon and evening to 15-45mph.
Today skies are expected to remain overcast, but clouds may be thin allowing some sun through in the afternoon. Ridgetop winds will decrease this morning (5-20mph), but remain in the 30’s mph in the gap areas of Portage Valley. Scattered snow showers are possible in the morning with up to 1-2 € of snow in the upper elevations. Rain/snow line is expected to remain around 1700′. Daily temperatures could rise into the low 40F’s by mid-day at sea level. Temperature in the upper elevations may reach the mid 30F’s this afternoon.
Temperatures are expected to remain warm, but we may see freezing tonight if skies clear. Clear skies and sun are expected tomorrow and day time temps will be in the mid 30s and could increase into the 40F’s at sea level. Winds will be light and variable. Snow and rain showers may resume again on Sunday with an active pattern still in the forecast. There is talk of cooler temperatures returning to our area next week.
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||28||1||.3||87|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||30||0||0||33|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||30||2||.26||81|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||26||SE||20||52|
|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: email@example.com
|Area||Status||Weather & Riding Conditions|
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