Human triggered fresh storm slabs or wind slabs 6″ to a foot or more thick are our main concerns today and tomorrow. We are in the midst of a springtime stormy weather pattern. Light rain has been falling at the lower elevations and snow above this. The rain/snow line has been fluctuating between 1,000-2,000′, in general. Strong Easterly winds accompanied the peak of the precipitation, which was yesterday afternoon.
Estimated Storm Totals from Tuesday night through 6am Thursday:
Girdwood Valley: ~4-8″ snow above 2,500′
Portage Valley: ~1-2′ snow above 2,500′ (by far the winner, areas closest to the Sound are the most favored for precip amounts)
Turnagain Pass: ~6-10″ snow above 2,500′
Summit Lake: 0″ to a trace
If you are headed out to catch the new snow at the higher elevations, caution is warranted. The new snow is falling on hard sun crusts on East, South and West aspects and on facets over a crust on high North aspects. Initial bonding should be poor in areas receiving over ~8″ of new snow. Keep in mind, wind drifted snow could form wind slabs as thick as a foot or two. This makes small avalanches much larger quickly. This hazard is a direct result of how much snow has fallen, if you only find a few inches of new snow, it’s not enough for a storm slab but watch for pockets of wind drifted snow on steep slopes.
PRE-STORM SURFACE – NORTHERLY ASPECT: 1cm of loose dry snow existed on hard melt/freeze crusts above 2500′ on shaded aspects
PRE-STORM: Slick melt-freeze surfaces on the South end of Turnagain Pass (Lynx Creek last week).
Light rain has been falling on an already saturated snowpack below 1,000′ and up to 2,000′ in places. Wet loose avalanches, and even a wet slab, are possible on any steep slope with a wet, soupy and non-cohesive snowpack.
These wet avalanches are most likely to threaten people that venture under avalanche terrain at the low elevations, such as in Portage Valley along the edges of Portage Lake and the Byron Glacier trail.
Cornices are starting to fall. New growth from the recent snow and wind on already teetering cornices will only add to their instability. Give them plenty of space and limit exposure time underneath.
Recent cornice fall and subsequent slab avalanche triggered below in the Skookum drainage last week before the wet weather.
Yesterday, cloudy and wet weather was over the region. Light rain fell in Girdwood and Turnagain Pass (~.1-.4″) and heavier rain in Portage (1″). The rain/snow line fluctuated between 1,000-2,000′ and above this anywhere from 3-10+” could be found depending on favored zones mentioned above. Ridgetop winds during the peak of the storm were 20-30mph with gusts to 68 from the East. Winds have died off early this morning and sit in the 10-15mph range. Temperatures have been in the 40’sF at sea level and in the mid to lower 20’s along ridgelines.
Today, cloudy skies and light rain below 2,500′ is expected while a trace of snow may fall above this. Ridgetop winds will remain Easterly in the 10-15mph range. Temperatures should warm to 40F at 1,000′ and remain in the 20’s along ridgelines.
For tomorrow and even into the weekend, the active pattern we are in will continue. Cloudy skies, light rain, gusty Easterly gap winds along Turnagain Arm and incremental snow accumulation above 2,500′. Again, favored precipitation areas are those closest to the coast such as Whittier.
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||33||4||.3||68|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||35||0||0||22|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||34||1||0.15||61|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||28||E||12||31|
|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|
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