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Issued
Fri, March 18th, 2011 - 7:00AM
Expires
Sat, March 19th, 2011 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
Kevin Wright
Avalanche risk The Bottom Line

Good morning backcountry travelers this is Kevin Wright with the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center on Friday, March 18th 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’s avalanche danger rating is LOW. New snow yesterday was limited to 2 inches or less in our region and did not have a significant affect on avalanche conditions. Wet snow avalanches are a minor possibility as it warms up this afternoon.

AVALANCHE DISCUSSION

The snowfall yesterday hit Anchorage harder than Turnagain arm and the Kenai. Turnagain Pass received less than 1 inch of snow. Some areas got as much as 2 inches. The snow came without wind and had no visible change to avalanche conditions.

Over the last few days temperatures have been higher both at night and during the day. Warming of the snow at mid elevations has been evident but no significant avalanches have been caused by this change. The warmer temperatures are a factor to consider as we transition towards a Spring melt-freeze cycle. We’re not quite there yet, but be on the lookout for those heat induced avalanches.

An isolated chance of triggering deeper avalanches exists in shallow snowpack areas. This is generally outside of the core Turnagain Pass in the interior Kenai or anywhere that the snowcover is notably thin. Persistent, weak, sugary snow underneath a harder slab is evident throughout these areas.

Encyclopedia of avalanche terms.

WEATHER ROUNDUP

Yesterday’s snow was the big news of the month so far. Up to 2 inches fell in Summit and Girdwood. Less than 1 inch fell in Turnagain Pass. So far, this winter in Girdwood has been the driest in over 20 years. Light wind and above freezing daytime temperatures have been the norm over the last few days. Today, partly to mostly cloudy skies are expected. Daytime temperatures into the mid to upper 30s in the mountains. Our next chance of snowfall is Sunday but we haven’t fallen into a good precip pattern yet.

Wendy 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 FRI MAR 18 2011

.TODAY…MOSTLY CLOUDY IN THE MORNING…BECOMING PARTLY CLOUDY. HIGHS

IN THE LOWER 30S TO MID 40S. LIGHT WINDS EXCEPT NORTH 10 TO 15 MPH

NEAR SEWARD.

.TONIGHT…PARTLY CLOUDY. PATCHY FOG. LOWS 5 TO 25 ABOVE…COOLEST

INLAND. LIGHT WINDS EXCEPT NORTH 10 MPH NEAR SEWARD.

.SATURDAY…MOSTLY SUNNY. PATCHY MORNING FOG. HIGHS IN THE

30S TO 40S. LIGHT WINDS EXCEPT NORTH 10 MPH NEAR SEWARD.

.SATURDAY NIGHT…PARTLY CLOUDY. LOWS 5 TO 25 ABOVE…COOLEST

INLAND. VARIABLE WIND 10 MPH.

.SUNDAY…MOSTLY CLOUDY. A CHANCE OF RAIN AND SNOW IN THE AFTERNOON.

HIGHS IN THE LOWER 30S TO LOWER 40S. EAST WIND 10 TO 15 MPH.

.SUNDAY NIGHT…RAIN AND SNOW LIKELY. LOWS 25 TO 35.

.MONDAY AND MONDAY NIGHT…MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF SNOW.

HIGHS 25 TO 35. LOWS IN THE 20S.

.TUESDAY…MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF SNOW AND RAIN. HIGHS IN

THE 30S.

TEMPERATURE / PRECIPITATION

SEWARD 40 23 39 / 0 0 0

GIRDWOOD 39 16 37 / 0 0 0

WEATHER STATION SUMMARY for Turnagain Pass:

-3800′ Sunburst Wx Station-

19 degrees. Wind 5 mph or less.

-2600′ Seattle Ridge Wx Station-

21 degrees. Very light wind.

-1800′ Center Ridge Wx Station-

22 degrees. One inch new snow yesterday.

Fri, March 18th, 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.
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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.