Avalanche advisory issued Friday for Juneau

By February 22, 2019 Juneau, Outdoors, Weather
Mount Juneau bears the recent Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016, snowfall that fell on Alaska's capital city about midday. (Photo by Tripp J Crouse/KTOO)

Mount Juneau sits above downtown after a snowfall in 2016. (Photo by Tripp J Crouse/KTOO)

An urban avalanche advisory is underway after separate storms dumped about two feet of snow at higher elevations this week.

Tom Mattice, emergency programs manager for the City and Borough of Juneau, said there’s potential for large avalanches on Mount Juneau Friday due to the new snow and high winds expected later in the afternoon.

“We had snow Sunday into Tuesday, and on Wednesday we had both human-triggered avalanches and natural avalanches,” Mattice said. “Skier-triggered, snowmobile-triggered and natural avalanches even out on Mount McGinnis. So things have been happening around the region.”

The state Department of Transportation performed avalanche control on Thane Road on Wednesday, so that area is less concerning.

But Mattice said the avalanche chutes above the Behrends neighborhood and the Flume Trail are especially risky and should be avoided.

“If you’re skiing or snowmobiling or playing in the backcountry the next few days, odds are good that you will see events occur. So people should definitely be safe out there,” he said.

The National Weather Service’s high wind warning is in effect from 3 p.m. Friday until noon Saturday with gusts of up to 65 miles per hour expected.

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