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Juneau avalanche danger remains high

Heavy snow and rain on Behrands Avenue Avalanche Path threatens neighborhood.
Heavy snow and rain on Behrands Avenue Avalanche Path threatens neighborhood.
Published: Feb. 28, 2021 at 10:12 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The avalanche danger around Juneau has returned to “high” this morning according to the City and Borough of Juneau. According to the Urban Avalanche Advisory, “by tonight the urban danger should be reduced enough to return to homes.”

More than 13 inches of snow fell near the Mt. Roberts Tram in the past 24 hours. Eaglecrest received 12.2 inches of snow. Both locations saw winds gusting in excess of 50 miles per hour.

The forecast for today is rain showers for Juneau with snow coming down at Eaglecrest. Temperatures will warm to almost 40 degrees in Juneau. Temperatures will fall slightly over the next two days but 20 to 30 mph winds out of the southeast will continue to blow snow around and could continue to load slopes.

In the Urban Avalanche Advisory, Tom Mattice, Emergency Manager, said, “I am of the opinion that if Behrends didn’t slide with the 5 degree warming, 2” of moisture, and 1′ of snow yesterday it will probably start to slowly stabilize today with the falling temps and decreased loading rates.  So although natural avalanches are still likely I think we may have dodged a bullet for the time being on the big one.”

The Advisory emphasizes that the danger remains high with deep instabilities still in place. “Very large” slides remain likely. The likelihood of a “historic” has been reduced to “possible.”

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