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Issued
Fri, November 6th, 2015 - 7:00AM
Expires
Sat, November 7th, 2015 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
Wendy Wagner
Avalanche risk The Bottom Line

Avalanche update for Friday Nov 6th:

A quick hitting storm on Thursday, Nov 5th has dropped 12-15″ of new snow above treeline in the Turnagain Pass area; smaller amounts below treeline and at the road. Strong winds  accompanied the new snow, which has likely formed large drifts and wind slabs. This is a classic “rapid loading” event that has increased the avalanche danger and caution is warranted the next couple days.

If you are headed into the backcountry on Friday or over the weekend, keep in mind HUMAN TRIGGERED AVALANCHES ARE POSSIBLE. These are most likely to be stiffer wind slabs 12-18″ thick and in areas that were windloaded during the storm. Things to keep an eye out for:

1)  Recent Avalanches
2)  Collapsing (“whoomphing”)
3)  Shooting cracks from your skis/board
4)  Warming of the snow surface

All of the above indicate an unstable snowpack and the potential for a person to trigger an avalanche.  Don’t be fooled by the thin snow cover as it does not take much snow to cause a dangerous slide. Ways to reduce your risk:

1)  Always be on the lookout for the 4 clues stated above
2)  Quick hand pits are a great way to suss out how the new snow is bonding to the snow beneath it
3)  If you want t
o avoid avalanche danger altogether, stick to slopes below 35 degrees with nothing steeper above you
4)  Expose only one person at a time if choosing to travel in steeper terrain

The new snow is sitting on roughly 6″ of older snow, making the total snowpack depth in the neighborhood of 1-2 feet; depth increasing with elevation. This is just enough snow to hide rocks and other hard objects that could ding your equipment, or your knees.


This is the AKDOT snow stake on Turnagain Pass from Thursday evening (still image of ~6″ accumulation but snowing heavily – and we will take it after last winter…).

Have a safe weekend everyone !!

Fri, November 6th, 2015
Alpine
Above 2,500'
0 - No Rating
Avalanche risk
Treeline
1,000'-2,500'
0 - No Rating
Avalanche risk
Below Treeline
Below 1,000'
0 - No Rating
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.
Weather
Fri, November 6th, 2015

PRECIPITATION 24-hour data (6am – 6am)

  Temp Avg (F) Snow (in) Water (in) Snow Depth (in)
Center Ridge (1880′)        
Summit Lake (1400′)        
Alyeska Mid (1700′)        

RIDGETOP 24-hour data (6am – 6am)

  Temp Avg (F) Wind Dir Wind Avg (mph) Wind Gust (mph)
Sunburst (3812′)        
Seattle Ridge (2400′)        
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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.