January 12, 2017

Avalanche Danger Update

Snow is forecast to return to Anchorage Friday afternoon through early Saturday.  There is a second round of snow currently forecast for Sunday into Monday.

There is a possibility of significant accumulation, and this could increase avalanche danger accordingly.  Winds are forecast to be light to moderate, but watch for wind loading to increase avalanche danger even further on leeward and cross-loaded terrain (especially near peaks, on upper elevation slopes along ridges, and along gully sidewalls).

While avalanche danger had subsided prior to this forecast snow event due to an extended period of quiet weather, expect a significant increase in danger if more than a few inches of new snow (especially if accompanied by even moderate wind) materializes.  Remember that snowfall in the mountains is typically more than what we receive in town.

The existing Chugach State Park snowpack is thin and weak; it will not take much stress from new snow and wind to increase the danger.

Stay tuned for further updates.