Snow, rain and high winds raise avalanche danger

Avalanche danger is high in the Chugach
Avalanche danger is high in the Chugach(ktuu)
Published: Jan. 18, 2021 at 10:36 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The most recent storms moving through Southcentral — including the current one — have raised the avalanche danger to high at all elevations in Turnagain Pass.

The Chugach National Forecast Avalanche Information Center says, “large natural avalanches are likely, and human triggered avalanches are very likely.”

Travel in avalanche terrain is not recommended, based on today’s forecast.

The heavy snow and rain moving through Turnagain Pass and Portage Valley on Monday mean the center expects “a mix of dry slab and wet loose avalanches that could make it down to lower elevation runout zones.”

Avalanche hazard reduction work will be done along the Seward Highway today near Summit Lake (MP 44-46) until 3 p.m. Drivers in that area could experience delays of up to 45 minutes.

A High Wind Warning is also in place for Portage Valley and eastern Turnagain Arm until 6 p.m. Monday with winds out of the east 35 to 55 mph and gusts to 80 mph. The winds are expected to peak by early Monday afternoon. Heavy rain and occasional snow along with the high winds could make driving on the Seward Highway difficult.

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