Turnagain Pass RSS

Archives
ARCHIVED - Forecasts expire after 24 hours.
Issued
Wed, March 16th, 2011 - 7:00AM
Expires
Thu, March 17th, 2011 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
Jon Gellings
Avalanche risk The Bottom Line

Good morning backcountry travelers. This is Jon Gellings with the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center on Wednesday, March 16th at 7am. This will serve as a general backcountry avalanche advisory issued for Turnagain Arm with Turnagain Pass as the core advisory area (this advisory does not apply to highways, railroads, or operating ski areas).

BOTTOM LINE

Today, a LOW danger of slab avalanches exists. Lingering hazards common to stable periods, such as isolated old wind slabs in extreme terrain, and weak cornices are the type of instabilities most concerning right now. Thin snowpack areas still contain an outside chance that a deeper avalanche could fail in wind loaded areas of steep slopes.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Chugach Electric Association, Inc. will be conducting patrol and maintenance of the electrical lines between Summit Lake and Turnagain Pass until April 15th. They will be operating snowmachines near the power lines between Center Ridge and Johnson Pass North T.H. under a special use permit.

AVALANCHE DISCUSSION

Warm temperatures last night indicate that the snow surface has not gone through as hard of a freeze cycle as it could have. The Center Ridge weather station is currently at the freezing threshold, and is only going to warm up again today. These middle elevations seem to have stayed the warmest, so any wet activity today would be more likely at these elevations than at upper ones. If the sun makes it out again today, south slopes would become more concerning, with an increased possibility of producing wet snow that can be pushed down a slope.

Normal caution is advised today. The unlikely possibility exists of triggering an avalanche in steep, rocky terrain. Old wind slabs could break near rocks in these steep areas, as well as in steep cross loaded gully features. Due to the higher current temperatures, cornice failure has also become a concern of ours, so walking near cornices demands an increase in cautiousness.

We are forecasted to receive precipitation again today. Yesterday, all that we saw falling in Johnson Pass were a few snowflakes, so nothing significant at all. It looks like tonight and the near future hold a higher chance of giving us new precipitation, but I wouldn’t hold my breath for any large amount of snow with this storm.

An isolated chance still exists of any triggered avalanche breaking into our old weak snow in regions with less snow than in Turnagain Pass. Places with this concern generally have less than a 5-6 foot deep snowpack.

Encyclopedia of avalanche terms.

WEATHER ROUNDUP

Winds are forecasted to get into the 20mph range, still far under what it would take to transport any amount of old snow. Temperatures are already warm at middle elevations, and they look like they could climb out of the freezing range at upper elevations. Precipitation amounts are forecasted to be pretty minimal for today, with the possibility of an increase overnight. The radar currently shows a small parcel of moist air south of Prince William Sound.

Kevin will issue the next advisory tomorrow morning at 7am. If you get out in the backcountry give us a call at 754-2369 or send us your observations using the button at the top of this page. Thanks and have a great day.

The NWS weather forecast for:

WESTERN PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND-

INCLUDING…WHITTIER…SEWARD…GIRDWOOD…MOOSE PASS

500 AM AKDT WED MAR 16 2011

.TODAY…CLOUDY WITH SCATTERED SNOW AND RAIN SHOWERS. HIGHS IN THE

30S. LIGHT WINDS EXCEPT NORTH 10 TO 15 MPH NEAR SEWARD.

.TONIGHT…SNOW LIKELY…MIXED WITH RAIN AT LOWER ELEVATIONS. SNOW

ACCUMULATION 1 TO 2 INCHES. LOWS IN THE LOWER 20S TO LOWER

30S…COOLEST INLAND. LIGHT WINDS EXCEPT NORTH 10 MPH NEAR SEWARD.

.THURSDAY…SNOW AND RAIN IN THE MORNING…THEN A CHANCE OF RAIN IN

THE AFTERNOON. SNOW ACCUMULATION 1 TO 2 INCHES. HIGHS IN THE LOWER

30S TO LOWER 40S. LIGHT WINDS.

TEMPERATURE / PRECIPITATION

SEWARD 39 30 40 / 40 60 60

GIRDWOOD 35 26 39 / 30 60 80

WEATHER STATION SUMMARY for Turnagain Pass:

-3800′ Sunburst Wx Station-

23 degrees at 6am. Light wind from the NE.

-2600′ Seattle Ridge Wx Station-

28 degrees at 5am. Light wind from the NE.

-1800′ Center Ridge Wx Station-

32 degrees at 5am. No new snow.

Wed, March 16th, 2011
Alpine
Above 2,500'
1 - Low
Avalanche risk
Treeline
1,000'-2,500'
1 - Low
Avalanche risk
Below Treeline
Below 1,000'
1 - Low
Avalanche risk
0 - No Rating
1 - Low
2 - Moderate
3 - Considerable
4 - High
5 - Extreme
Avalanche risk Avalanche risk Avalanche risk Avalanche risk Avalanche risk
Travel Advice 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. Dangerous avalanche conditions. 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.
Observations
Recent Observations for Turnagain Pass
Date Region Location
11/16/23 Turnagain Observation: Tincan Common
11/14/23 Turnagain Observation: Sunburst/Magnum
11/14/23 Turnagain Observation: Seattle Ridge
11/13/23 Turnagain Avalanche: Tincan Trees
11/12/23 Turnagain Observation: Sunburst
11/12/23 Turnagain Avalanche: Goldpan – avalanche
11/11/23 Turnagain Observation: Tincan Common
11/11/23 Turnagain Observation: Taylor Pass – Sunburst
11/10/23 Turnagain Observation: Tincan
11/10/23 Turnagain Observation: Tincan Trees
Riding Areas

The riding areas page has moved. Please click here & update your bookmarks.

Subscribe to Turnagain Pass
Avalanche Forecast by Email

This is a general backcountry avalanche advisory issued for Turnagain Arm with Turnagain Pass as the core advisory area. This advisory does not apply to highways, railroads or operating ski areas.