The mountains are forecast to get another foot of snow today with easterly winds gusting into the 50s. Since Friday morning upper elevations have received between 10-30″ of snow favoring Girdwood. Natural storm slabs 1-3′ will be possible in the Alpine and human triggering will be likely on slopes 35 degrees and steeper. High elevation northerly aspects are the most suspect for poor bonding as the new snow fell onto weak older snow and possibly surface hoar. Slabs will be the deepest on wind-loaded slopes. Visibility will be limited so avoid runout areas where natural avalanches could fall from above. Look for signs of recent avalanches, shooting cracks and drifted snow, and listen for whumphing.
PERSISTENT SLABS: Steep northerly slopes above 3000′ also harbor buried surface hoar and near surface facets that were buried 1-2′ deep on April 5th. Two human triggered avalanches occurred last weekend failing on this layer. There is a chance that this layer could be overloaded, resulting in an avalanche stepping down deeper in the snowpack and is another good reason to avoid steep northerly slopes in the Alpine today!
Choose terrain wisely, visibility will be limited and natural avalanches will be possible. Tincan yesterday 4-20-19.
Rain falling on snow today below 2000′ could initiate natural wet loose avalanches. These will be larger in areas with the more snow prior to the rain. A skier or a machine on a steep slope may also trigger these. As the snowpack becomes saturated wet sluffs may gouge deeper. Watch for roller balls and sinking into punchy wet snow.
CORNICES: There are still large cornices along ridge tops. Wind and snow today will make them even larger. Give them lots of space as they can break farther back than expected an could release naturally.
GLIDE AVALANCHES: It’s been two weeks since our last known glide avalanche, but keep in mind glide cracks are continuing to creep down-hill. As always, limit traveling under their runout. They are unpredictable and can avalanche at any time.
Watch for roller balls as snow becomes a saturated!
Yesterday: Skies were broken in the morning and became mostly cloudy. There were light snow and rain showers throughout the day. The rain/snowline was around 700′. Temperatures were in the low 40Fs at sea level, 30Fs in the mid elevations and 20Fs at ridgetops. Winds were easterly gusting into the 20s during the day, increasing to gusts in the 40s overnight. 0.5-1.0″ SWE fell in the early morning hours again favoring Girdwood with temperatures in the high 30Fs to mid 20Fs.
Today: Rain/snow could be heavy at times today. An inch of water is forecast to fall. This could translate to over a foot of new snow at upper elevations. Rain/snowline is forecast to be 1600′ but may rise to 2000′. Easterly winds will be 20-40 mph gusting into the 50s. Precipitation and winds will decrease overnight.
Tomorrow: Mostly cloudy skies with light rain/snow showers. Winds will be northerly 5-15 mph gusting into the 20s. Temperatures will be in the 30Fs dropping to the 20Fs later in the day. Snow may fall to sea level overnight into Tuesday.
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||32||8||0.6||72|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||34||1||0.1||22|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||34||6||0.5||66|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||27||SE||8||18|