|Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.
|Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.
|Dangerous avalanche conditions. Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious route-finding, and conservative decision-making essential.
|Very dangerous avalanche conditions. Travel in avalanche terrain not recommended.
|Extraordinarily dangerous avalanche conditions. Avoid all avalanche terrain.
|Likelihood of Avalanches
|Natural and human-triggered avalanches unlikely.
|Natural avalanches unlikely; human-triggered avalanches possible.
|Natural avalanches possible; human-triggered avalanches likely.
|Natural avalanches likely; human-triggered avalanches very likely.
|Natural and human-triggered avalanches certain.
|Avalanche Size and Distribution
|Small avalanches in isolated areas or extreme terrain.
|Small avalanches in specific areas; or large avalanches in isolated areas.
|Small avalanches in many areas; or large avalanches in specific areas; or very large avalanches in isolated areas.
|Large avalanches in many areas; or very large avalanches in specific areas.
|Very large avalanches in many areas.
|Size (D scale)
|Unlikely to bury a person
|Can bury a person
|Can destroy a house
|4 & 5
|Can destroy part or all of a village
Last night was the first freeze in five days since a series of warm and wet storms ended yesterday morning. Not much snow exists below 2000′ due to heavy rain that may have reached ridgetops at times. We don’t have a lot of information from the upper elevations, above 2500’, at this point. We know 4+’ of snow fell over a four-day period and strong Easterly winds have loaded leeward features and cross-loaded other aspects. Prior to this storm a melt-freeze crust and surface hoar formed in the upper elevations. We don’t know how much avalanche activity occurred during the storm and if this poor structure is lingering in places that haven’t avalanched.
Today triggering an avalanche is possible in the Alpine and could be large enough to bury a person. If you hike into the Alpine where there is enough snow to slide ease into avalanche terrain with a cautious mindset. We are still in the 48-hour period since heavy snow and strong winds formed storm slabs. Avoid avalanche terrain if you observe any signs of instability: recent avalanches, shooting cracks, or whumpfing.
Webcam pictures from DOT weather station provided our first glimpse into the Alpine yesterday afternoon – Northern and Western aspects of Tincan above 2000′.
Brief clearing in the afternoon provided a nice glimpse of an Eastern aspect of Seattle Ridge. Note how little snow exists in the lower elevations.
West aspect of Butch in foreground and Northern aspects of Tenderfoot and Tri-Tip in the background. Photo from Mon Nov. 26 at Lower Summit Lake.
Yesterday: Moderate Easterly ridgetop winds diminished yesterday morning becoming light by early evening. Skies were obscure most of the day a broken period late afternoon. Temperatures dropped below freezing last night allowing 0.1 € of snow water equivalent to fall as an inch of snow to sea level from Girdwood to Turnagain Pass last night.
Today: Scattered snow showers and a trace of snow are possible this morning with clearing skies in the forecast this afternoon. In the upper elevations temps will average in the low 20Fs and upper 20Fs near sea level. Winds will remain light and variable.
Tomorrow: Temperatures will start to increase as another storm moves into our region Friday into Saturday. This storm will have a Southwesterly flow, which typically favors Hatcher Pass for precipitation. Temperatures are expected to reach above freezing and rain is likely in the mid and lower elevations. Increasing temps and winds are expected in the Western Chugach and Kenai Mountain.
*Seattle Ridge weather station stopped collecting wind data at 10 pm on Nov 27, 2018.
|Temp Avg (F)
|Snow Depth (in)
|Center Ridge (1880′)
|Summit Lake (1400′)
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)
|Temp Avg (F)
|Wind Avg (mph)
|Wind Gust (mph)
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)
|Observation: Silvertip Creek
|Observation: Seattle Ridge
|John Sykes Forecaster
|Observation: Kickstep NE Bowl
|Observation: TinCan Backdoor/ Center Ridge
|AAS L1 Turnagain
|Avalanche: Lynx Creek
|Observation: Turnagain, Seattle, Mt Ascension
|Silverton Mountain Guides
|Observation: Tincan Trees
|Dalpes/Thamm/ Schauer Forecaster
|Observation: Seward Highway across from Johnson Pass TH