Valdez

Forecast Expired

Above 3,000ftConsiderable

1,500 to 3,000ftConsiderable

Below 1,500ftConsiderable

Degrees of Avalanche Danger

Avalanche Problems

Problem 1

Storm Snow:

Likelihood:

  • Almost Certain
  • Very Likely
  • Likely
  • Possible
  • Unlikely

Size:

  • Historic
  • Very Large
  • Large
  • Small

Trend

  • Increasing
  • Steady
  • Decreasing

Problem 2

Persistent Slab:

Likelihood:

  • Almost Certain
  • Very Likely
  • Likely
  • Possible
  • Unlikely

Size:

  • Historic
  • Very Large
  • Large
  • Small

Trend

  • Increasing
  • Steady
  • Decreasing

Problem 3

Glide Avalanches:

Likelihood:

  • Almost Certain
  • Very Likely
  • Likely
  • Possible
  • Unlikely

Size:

  • Historic
  • Very Large
  • Large
  • Small

Trend

  • Increasing
  • Steady
  • Decreasing

Avalanche Activity

12/24- Skier triggered avalanche on Python Buttress: NW aspect, 2700′, 35° slope, 60 feet wide, ran 200-300 feet.  ASu-D1.5-R1-O

12/18- A large glide release was reported off Snowslide Gulch middle peak size 2.5.

12/15- Observed small natural avalanche on west aspect of Goodwills.   Released below a cliff band at the bottom of a slope, 100′ wide.   SS-N-D1-N

12/8-  An observer witnessed a glide crack avalanche.  SW aspect of peak 4690′ above the Valdez Glacier Lake. The debris reportedly ran all the way to the lake, with the deposition pile only feet away from a well used cross country ski trail.

Weather

12/25- Snow is forecasted for our region today with .7 inches of water expected over the next 24 hours.  This could produce 10-20 inches of additional new snow by tomorrow morning. Expect moderate to strong winds out of the E shifting to NE tonight.

The Thompson Pass Mountain Forecast covers the mountains (above
1000 ft) surrounding Keystone Canyon through Thompson Pass to
Worthington Glacier.

This forecast is for use in snow safety activities and emergency
management.

                   Today        Tonight

Temp at 1000`      29 F         23 F

Temp at 3000`      18-25 F      19-25 F

Chance of precip   100%         90%

Precip amount
(above 1000 FT)    0.30 in      0.40 in

Snow amount
(above 1000 FT)    4-8 in       6-12 in

Snow level         sea level    sea level

Wind 3000` ridges  E 3-36 mph   NE 18-41 mph

Remarks...The heaviest snow today will be in the afternoon,
continuing past midnight, then diminishing in the early morning
hours.
  24h snowfall (inches) HN24W (inches)* Hi Temp (F) Low Temp (F) Dec snowfall Season Snowfall Snow height 
Valdez 10 .65 33 23 24 48 27
46 mile 5 .4 29 -2 10

Nicks snotel

(4500′)

13 24 18 106

 HN24W= total water received last 24 hours in inches

Additional Information

Use caution today.  Our area has received a lot of snow in the last three days.  The storm started with cold temperatures and very dry snow.  As the storm has progressed, temperatures have been slowly warming and the snow is becoming heavier, making it upside down.  In places, the snow is sitting on a persistent wind slab.  In others, it is sitting on a faceted rain crust.  There is a lot of variability out there but the outcome is the same for the short term: Avalanches.  The new snow will need time to adjust. There is a lot of snow in the long term forecast – use caution as hazard could become more significant before it gets better. 

There have been limited observations from interior locations due to low snow at lower elevations.  Use caution if you travel in these areas.

If you have traveled in the mountains, please leave a public observation.  The more info we can get from various locations will help us to get a clearer picture of the snowpack in our beautiful Valdez Chugach! 

Forecast Confidence is Moderate.

Video taken 12/20 in the Mt. Dimond area showing reactive test slopes.   https://vimeo.com/user106668057/review/380916811/02da5d1cc7

Announcements

The avalanche hazard is Considerable at all elevations.  Human triggered avalanches are likely today and natural avalanches are possible on all aspects.  Thompson Pass has received 19 inches of new snow in the last 24 hours, and 26 inches in the last 48 hours.  The snowpack needs time to adjust and will be sensitive today.  Avoid travel in avalanche terrain. Expect hazard to increase with additional snowfall.