Natural avalanches have been reported in the past several days on Lower Microdot (NW aspect), Marmot SW aspect, Hatch Peak NE aspect, and Martin Mine Gully NE aspect. See photographs below.
Above: Natural avalanches on Lower Microdot NW aspect on Wednesday 12/19
Above: Natural avalanches observed on Marmot W to SW aspects on Wednesday 12/19
Widely propagating natural avalanche on NE aspect of Martin Mine Gully on Monday 12/17
Winds picked up this week, with Easterly winds at ridge tops gusting light to moderate Saturday 12/15 and Sunday 12/16 and moderate winds Tuesday night 12/18. At Independence Mine, winds have been calm to light from the N/NW since Saturday 12/15. Independence Mine received 2” of snow (0.2” SWE) Saturday 12/15 into Sunday 12/16 night. Temperatures have been in the teens to 20s F since Saturday 12/15.
Today (Thursday 12/20) the weather is expected to be partly sunny, with temperatures in the single digits F and calm winds. Friday 12/21 temperatures are expected to warm into the teens F; however, there is disagreement in the weather models regarding the potential for scattered snow showers in the afternoon and evening.
Stay tuned to the NOAA point forecast for an updated weather forecast each day. The best way to see if it’s snowing in Hatcher Pass is to look at the webcam snow stake HERE and the Independence Mine SNOTEL site HERE
Dangerous avalanche conditions continue at Hatcher Pass. Moderate winds gusting into the 20s mph have picked up some of the 2+ feet of snow available for transport and deposited it into leeward terrain above 3500’. This new stress on the snowpack has overloaded buried persistent weak layers, resulting in numerous large avalanches over the last few days.
Join us tonight at Hatcher Pass Polaris for a FREE avalanche awareness program with Alaska Avalanche School!
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