Numerous small, natural and human triggered dry loose avalanches (sluffs) were observed this week in much of the terrain at hatcher pass.
Few, small, isolated natural and human triggered soft slabs and wind slabs were observed this week.
|Signal Word||Size (D scale)||Simple Descriptor|
|Small||1||Unlikely to bury a person|
|Large||2||Can bury a person|
|Very Large||3||Can destroy a house|
|Historic||4 & 5||Can destroy part or all of a village|
Dry loose sluffs will be possible to human trigger today only on slopes 40° and steeper, on all aspects, at all elevations. HP received 4″ of new snow on 2/10-11, adding to last weeks 6-10″ of low density snow. This snow combined with old weak facets (Square Pow) will increase the size and consequence of any sluff. Terrain choice and sluff management will be integral to not getting caught or tweaking a knee today. Unfortunately, despite the increasing snow coverage, nearly everyone is still hitting rocks. We are continuing to dial it back a notch due to these hazards.
Some small natural loose dry avalanche activity is possible on south to west aspects at all elevations, on steep slopes with direct solar gain. These will be more likely near rock bands where dark rocks absorb heat from the sun and melt nearby snow, triggering loose dry avalanches.
Small, isolated persistent slabs 0.5-2 feet deep may be possible to human trigger in upper elevation terrain on aspects where wind effected, stiff snow at ridge tops and on cross loaded features exists. Anywhere you encounter stiff snow, you can be assured it is sitting on weak facets, a potential set up for slab release. Stiff, smooth, hollow snow over weaker snow, combined with cracking or collapsing is a red flag for this problem.
New snow totals Feb 7th -11th:
Independence Mine: 4″ of new snow
Temperatures at 4500′ since 2/11 have warmed from the teens into the lower 20º’sF. Its 19°F at Marmot, 18°F at Independence Mine, and 5°F with clear skies at the Palmer Airport this morning at 6am. For today the Rec Forecast is calling for inversion with warmer temps up high, possibly reaching 29°F at 3000′ this afternoon with a temp of 22°F at 1000′, however models seem to be indicating slightly cooler temperatures by a few degrees.
Calm winds have persisted along with clear skies since 2/11, and today is no different. However we are looking at a pattern change starting Monday as the Yukon high pressure migrates southward and allows for low pressure systems to enter southcentral from the Bering. We may see some clouds as early as tomorrow with the next chance for snow Monday night into Tuesday.
Marmot 4500′ Last 24 hours
NWS Rec Forecast here.
NWS point forecast here.
State Parks Snow Report and Motorized Access information here.