Thursday, November 15, 2012

This is what we like to see in Girdwood

Snow on everything and a cloud bank indication more snow. Here is a nice view toward town, Penguin Ridge on the left. Nice, because everything is covered in snow!!! They have been small wettish flakes however, the temperature has been between 32 and 34, oh so close. At night it did stay around 28.

Walking to work today, the snow was that mushy kind, really slid under the feet making walking weird. The temperature this morning was 30. I was afraid of it warming up and turning to sleet but that did not happen. Between 10 a and noon, there was a great snow shower and flakes were larger than yesterday. That was a good sight.

By 6pm, the snow had stopped, the precipitation was small wet spittle. Wet enough that it did not blow off the windshield. 

The Weather and Snowpack presentation was good at the Glacier Ranger Station. Wendy Wagner presented slides  on how to do column tests and what the snow density ratings mean. F- fist, 4-four fingers, 1-one finger, P-pencil, K-knife. So, before you go back country skiing or snowmachining, check the CNFAIC website for avalanche warnings, great pictures of avalanches, and snow column tests. For good detailed information, check the Observations. There are always good descriptions of snow pack, snow events from specific locations that can help you make an informed decision. There was helpful input from locals of situations to look out for. Jim from Girdwood Ski and Cyclery gave the typical Girdwood response to questions of prediction for the season “it always seems to work itself out into good snow” kind of paraphrased. He also gave this tip: don’t park under trees laden with snow, he has seen big dumps crush car tops! This is part of a series on avalanche safety presented by the forest service and Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center.

There was a small earthquake or tremor felt in Girdwood early this morning. I hope that shook loose some of that snow on top of the unstable hoar for those back country folks. 

Here is a shot of my driveway tonight, you can see some depth in the tire tracks. Mostly,  its damp, 30° (yikes) but holding. The resort is making snow, the fog is so dense, you cannot even see the mountain lights until you are right up close to the T. Good to see the lights on, right?

The other reason I want to show this picture, that is my husband just returning with Girdwood Fire and Rescue. There was a single car roll-over accident at mile 92.5 of the Seward highway last night. The car was a Range Rover and there were two passengers. The car flipped and landed next to the railroad tracks. The observation was, the road looked clear but never believe it now! There will always be a layer of ice right on the surface pavement. And no matter what kind of vehicle you have, don’t give the vehicle more credit that it has against weather! 

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