On 12/8, skies cleared giving us a good look at the upper elevations. No new natural avalanches were observed from the 12/5 through 12/7 storm.
A strong low pressure system south of the Alaska peninsula is pushing a storm force front across the southern mainland. Along with this, the jet stream is pointed directly at Southern Alaska delivering abundant moisture and warm air.
An inch of water is forecast to arrive in the next 24 hours which could add up to 6-10 inches of heavy snow above 4000′. Expect highs to be in the 40’s and freezing line to rise to 4k feet. At 8 am temps were already 33F at 4500′ at Nicks, and 35F at Thompson Pass.
The Thompson Pass Mountain Forecast covers the mountains (above
1000 ft) surrounding Keystone Canyon through Thompson Pass to
This forecast is for use in snow safety activities and emergency
Temp at 1000` 42 F 34 F
Temp at 3000` 35 F 33 F
Chance of precip 90% 100%
(above 1000 FT) 0.27 in 0.62 in
(above 1000 FT) 0-3 in 0-5 in
Snow level 1500 ft 2200 ft
Wind 3000` ridges E 17-38 mph E 12-41 mph
Sunday revealed 8″ of new snow that was redistributed by moderate to strong SE winds. Snow line for this storm was 2200′ on the southside of Thompson Pass and 3200′ on the north side. Windslab up to 2′ deep has formed on the lee side of terrain features. Stability tests at 4000′, on a south aspect of Girls Mt, revealed moderate stability with no signs of propagation.
On Monday, additional snow and wind will build these windslabs to greater depths above 4,000′ . Below 4,000′, rain is likely with up to an inch forecasted over the next 24 hours. This warm up in temperatures will decrease the surface stability of the snowpack.
Avoid crossloaded gullies, avalanche paths, and terrain traps. Careful decision making and route finding will be necessary.
Forecast Confidence is low.
The avalanche hazard is Considerable today at Mid and Upper elevations. Triggering wind slab avalanches up to 2 1/2 feet deep will be likely today on NE through NW aspects, especially on the lee side of ridge lines. Avoid travel in avalanche terrain today and stay away from runout zones. The danger will remain elevated until temperatures begin to fall.
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