Numerous natural and human triggered wet-loose avalanches were observed most of the week. Most wet-loose were small in size, in terrain 40° and steeper, and on ALL aspects, and all elevations. The largest avalanches were up to D1.5 in size and on SE to SW aspects.
A notable cornice fall on 3/21 (triggered by a dog) triggered the persistent slab on a NW aspect at 4500’ on 3/21. The pocket failed to the ground and was D1.5. The dog is reported to be fine.
For more info and pictures on the Natural and Human triggered avalanches this week , check out the mid week summary, HERE or weekly OBSERVATIONS HERE.
Above: 3/21 Dog triggered cornice fall that triggered persistent slab, D1.5 , NW aspect 4500′.
Above: Natural wet-loose at low elevation on the road cut, 3/20.
This week’s weather at Independence Mine 3550′: OLD
Temps averaged 36ºF, with a low of 19ºF and a high of 42ºF.
IM recorded 4” of new snow and .4″ water (SWE) this week.
Overnight at 3550′:
Temps averaged 36°F.
No new snow.
This week’s weather at Marmot Weather Station 4500′:
Temps averaged 27ºF, with a low of 14ºF and a high of 35ºF.
Winds averaged ESE 11 mph, max 26 mph . Gusts averaged ESE 19 mph, max gust ESE 53 mph.
Overnight at 4500′:
Temps averaged 31ºF overnight.
Winds averaged E 31 mph overnight. Max gust E 15 mph.
NWS Rec Forecast HERE
NWS point forecast HERE
State Parks Snow Report and Motorized Access information HERE
Expect warmer temperatures, some clouds and/or scattered snow showers, and winds E 3-12 mph today at 3000′. Avalanche danger will remain the same until temperatures increase again. If we continue to see temps above freezing up to 3000’ overnight, expect wet-avalanches at mid and low elevation to be likely.
Read entire HPAC advisory HERE.
BOTTOM LINE for March 23 at 7am, expires in 24 hours.
The avalanche danger is Moderate today in the morning for Wet Avalanches at mid and low elevation. Danger will rise to Considerable for Wet Avalanches at mid and low elevation on steep SE to SW aspects in the afternoon and into tomorrow if we continue to see above freezing temperatures overnight.
Cornices are huge and sensitive and will be possible for a human or dog to trigger today. Cornices will have the potential to trigger larger sluffs or slab avalanches that may fail to the ground.
Record high temps have thrown the snowpack into a spring cycle. Timing will be key to finding enjoyable skiing/riding and avoiding avalanches today. Early bird gets the worm!
Heading to Turnagain? Be sure to check the CNFAIC Forecast HERE.
Want to support avalanche education in Alaska? Head to the Alaska Avalanche School Ski-Mo (uphill/downhill) fundraiser race at Arctic Valley on Sunday, March 24th at 1pm. For more information click HERE.
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