January 8, 2015

Temperatures have warmed significantly, especially at the mid to upper elevations where they are now well above freezing up to at least 4000′ in some areas.

Significant warming and rapidly increasing temperatures are red flags of avalanche danger that could have an impact on the tenuous stability of Chugach State Park’s thin snowpack that is rife with persistent weak layers and has proven susceptible to dangerous human triggered avalanches (check out the recent observations for more information).

With warm temperatures and chances for rain expected to persist through the middle of next week, the avalanche danger will remain elevated.  Keep an eye on the weather stations in the mid to upper elevations (click here); if temperatures remain above freezing for an extended period of time with no re-freeze overnight the avalanche danger will rise even more dramatically.

The January 5, 2015 advisory outlines recent avalanche concerns.  The slab avalanche problems mentioned there may become more susceptible to both natural and human triggers considering the warm up.  If temperatures stay warm, as mentioned above, wet loose and wet slab avalanches will also be a concern.

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