Rain on snow breaks up bonds and adds load to the snowpack. Yesterday saw rain showers throughout today and the precipitation intensity picked up this morning. Rain continuing today combined with another day of warm temperatures and last night being the second night in a row with no freeze below 3000′ has increased the likelihood of both wet loose avalanches and wet slab avalanches. The snowpack will continue to get more saturated throughout the day. If you do decide to recreate today pay attention to the depth you are sinking in and get off the slope if the snow is over your boot tops or your machine is trenching in. Expect loose snow moving to entrain more as moves downhill. Yesterday observers reported large roller balls/pinwheels and the size of human triggered loose avalanches increasing later in the day. Anywhere that had softer drier snow becoming wet was the most tender.
Wet slab avalanches: We have not seen any wet slab avalanche activity yet, but it’s not out of the question that a wet loose slide (or the weight of a skier or snowachiner) could trigger a wet slab today as water penetrates to lower layers.
Wet loose avalanches on the North Corbiscuit chutes yesterday.
Wet loose avalanches on Pete’s South. Expect the size of wet loose avalanches to increase today.
Above the rain line triggering a slab avalanche 1-2′ thick on North shaded aspects is still possible. Overall we have seen that the snow from last week has been bonding but haven’t forgotten that there is a weak layer under the old storm slab. The slab/facet combo remains suspect and may be more tender in the Alpine today as heavy wet snow falls. Wind loading may also add stress, as the ridgetop winds remain strong.
Facets found beneath last weeks storm snow in a pit on the North side of Tincan at 3,200′. Photo: Eric Roberts
It’s that time of year where the snowpack is warming up and cornices will begin to break. Give cornices a wide berth.
Yesterday was mostly cloudy with rain showers throughout the day. Temperatures were in the 40Fs at sea level and the high 20Fs to mid 30Fs at upper elevations. Winds were easterly 20-30 mph gusting as high as 67 on Sunburst.
Today is forecast to mostly cloudy with around a half an inch of rain expected. Temperatures will remain in the 30Fs and 40Fs. Winds will continue from the east 15-25 mph with gusts into the 40s. Temperatures will stay warm overnight and rain showers will continue.
The next couple of days look to remain cloudy with a continued chance of rain as another low moves into the Gulf. There is a chance for some clearing this weekend but the long-term forecast discussion keeps temperatures warm and the overall pattern active. Springtime in AK!
PRECIPITATION 24-hour data (6am – 6am)
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||37||0||0.4||71|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||39||0||0.4||30|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||36||0||0.34||71|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||31||ESE||21||47|
|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|
|11/18/19||Turnagain||Observation: Turnagain Pass – Road obs||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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