The snow pack is still very THIN.
Terrain traps like cliffs, gullies, and alders are a very real hazard.
Above 2,500ft Moderate
1,800 to 2,500ft Low
Below 1,800ft Low
Degrees of Avalanche Danger ?
|THURSDAY||FRIDAY||SATURDAY & SUNDAY|
WIND & PERSISTENT SLAB:
Elevation: Mostly above 2500′
Aspect: All where exposed to wind, particularly south and west
Terrain: Ridgelines, rollovers, cross-loaded features
Likelihood (Human Triggered): Possible
Size: Small to Medium
Danger Trend: Decreasing
Forecaster Confidence: Fair
AVALANCHE PROBLEM SCALE DESCRIPTORS:
Sensitivity: Non-reactive, Stubborn, Responsive, Touchy
Distribution: Isolated, Specific, Widespread
Likelihood: Unlikely, Possible, Likely, Nearly Certain
Size: Small, Medium, Large, Very Large (size scale <here>)
Danger Trend: Increasing, Steady, Decreasing
Forecaster Confidence: Good, Fair, Poor
LIST OF AVALANCHE PROBLEMS <here>
Strong winds from the north have created extremely variable snow conditions. Pockets of deep powder, extremely stiff windslab, bare ground, and exposed rain crust exists through out the Thompson Pass region. Look, listen and feel-if you see shooting cracks, whumphing, or feel hollow snow, be wary of your terrain choices. Recent snowpits dug on wind drifted SW facing slopes show faceting (sugar snow) on the ground with the entire season’s snowpack potentially releasing on this layer (ECTP25). The weak faceted layer at the ground will be an ongoing problem especially after a new snow load.
Find more photos and observations at the bottom of the page. Sharing your observations helps others make informed decisions.
Recent Avalanche Activity
- No new activity observed.
- Dec.11 Fresh fracture line on the north aspect of Berlin Wall into Gully 2 at about 4000′, crossloaded start zone above rocky unsupported terrain. See photo on the obs page.
December 10 windslabs to ground at Milepost 29
20161203 MP 26 Triggered from below: Odyssey Lake
|WEATHER FORECAST for NEXT 24 HRS at 3,000 ft:|
|Temperature Forecast (Min/Max *F):||0/5|
|Ridgetop Wind Forecast (mph):||0-25/ SW|
|WIND & TEMPERATURE
past 24 hours
|Ferry Terminal||Thompson Pass|
|Average Wind Speed (mph) / Direction||7 / NE||29 / NE|
|Max Wind Gust (mph) / Direction||20/ NE||48 / NE|
|Temperature Min / Max (*F)||15 /24||-11 / 4|
North winds will prevail till this evening only to switch to the onshore southwest winds that will bring 1-3” snowfall tonight. Temps will continue to warm through out the day, and a chance of snow through the weekend.
Additional Info & Media
|SNOW HISTORY:||Valdez 12/15 AM||Thompson Pass 12/15 AM|
|24 Hour Snow / Water Equiv.||0” /0″||0″ /0″|
|Storm Snow /Water Equiv. (12/8-12/9)||10” /0.6″||3″ /0.2″|
|Current Snow Depth||16″||18″|
|December Snow / Water Equiv.||32″ / 2.2″||20″ / 1.5″|
|Total Winter Snowfall / Water Equiv.||54″ / 6.3”||92″ / 9.8″|
|Snowload in Valdez||5 lbs/sq. ft.|
|SNOWFALL for LAST 24 HRS at OTHER STATIONS:|
|Nicks Valley at 4200 ft (in):||0|
|Upper Tsaina at 1750 ft (in):||0|
|Sugarloaf at 550 ft (in):||0|
|SNOW DEPTH & WATER SURVEY (12/6/2016)||Depth||Snow Water Equivalent|
|Milepost 2.5 Valdez||13.2″||2.3″|
|Milepost 29 Worthington Flats||32.2″||6.4″|
|Milepost 37 Tsaina River bridge||24.1″||4.1″|
|This survey is done the first week of each month beginning in December.|
- NWS forecast for Northeast Prince William Sound <here>
- NOAA NWS spot forecast for Thompson Pass <here>
- Thompson Pass RWIS weather station <here>
- MP 30 Nicks (Happy) Valley weather station at 4200 feet <here> (scroll to Nicks Valley)
- Valdez Glacier UAF weather station at 6600 feet <data here> <map here>
- Further weather resources <here>
SNOW CLIMATE ZONES:
- Maritime (Coastal) – from the Port of Valdez to Thompson Pass, all waters flowing into Valdez Arm and everything south of Marshall Pass.
- Inter-mountain (Transitional) – between Thompson Pass and Rendezvous Lodge.
- Continental (Interior) – the dry north side of the Chugach (north of 46 Mile, including the Tonsina River).
Photo of Thompson Pass <here>
Map of Valdez Forecast areas and recreating zones <here> (Thank you Trevor Grams)
Run map of some of the forecast area (2MB download)<here> (Thank you Sean Wisner)
NEWS: Our region is “one of the snowiest places on earth” – Serendipity / Rendezvous snowfall record set in 1963 <here>.
Free smart phone avalanche forecasts at: http://www.