How much snow will fall and how fast? Pay attention to changing conditions! Over a foot is forecast to fall along Turnagain Pass with the storm intensifying this afternoon. Snow in amounts in Portage may be closer to two feet. Snow today will be landing on a variety of surfaces ranging from wind hardened snow to melt-freeze crusts. In some spots there are small weak facets resting on top of these hard layers. Will the new snow bond to the old snow? That really is the question of the day. As snow accumulates watch for cracking, listen and look for collapsing (whumpfing) and realize triggering a storm slab could become likely by this afternoon. Stronger winds will move snow around and help create deeper slabs in leeward terrain.
Variable surface conditions that new snow may not bond well to. Photo: Troy Tempel
Soft facets over a hard crust. This could become a reactive set-up with new snow landing on top.
With new snow in the forecast today is important to remember the current snowpack has a poor structure with many weak layers that sit 2-4′ below the surface. Some times these layers can be woken up by additional load. These layers are composed of facets and buried surface hoar. The slab on top is hard and varies in thickness due to prior wind effect. The snow surface has been beat up by wind and sun over the past three weeks. We are still concerned someone could find just the wrong spot on just the wrong slope and trigger a dangerous avalanche. Places most suspect are thin snowpack zones such as the Girdwood Valley and the South end of Turnagain Pass. Additionally, North and Easterly slopes in general have a thinner pack making them more suspect. Trigger points in this situation are often in thin areas near rocks or in scoured areas along ridges.
Watch out for cornices along ridgelines. These could grow larger with new snow and wind loading today. As always, give cornices plenty of space and limit exposure underneath them.
Yesterday was partly cloudy with temperatures in the teens to low 20Fs at upper elevations and the 30Fs around sea level. Winds were easterly 5-15 mph and picked up overnight with a few gusts into the 30s.
Today will be mostly cloudy with skies becoming obscured. A storm is forecast to impact the advisory area with snow starting this morning. Precipitiation intensity should ramp up this afternoon and continue overnight. There is a Special Weather Statement from the NWS. 6-10″ of snow is forecast to fall today with another 10-15″ tonight. Temperatures will be in the 20Fs. Today and tonight winds will be Easterly 10-20 mph with gusts into the 30s and 40s.
The storm should start to wind down by Thursday morning with skies becoming mostly clear by the evening. Friday into the weekend looks to be mostly sunny with a chance for snow again starting Monday.
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||22||0||0||75|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||21||0||0||31|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||24||0||0||69|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||18||ESE||15||34|
|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: firstname.lastname@example.org
|Area||Status||Weather & Riding Conditions|
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