Choose lower angle slopes to play on today. Pay attention to windlips and rollovers to know where the windslab is building. Gullies will most likely be crossloaded, gathering deep slab that could get moving fast in steep terrain.
Above 2,500ft Considerable
1,800 to 2,500ft Moderate
Below 1,800ft Moderate
Degrees of Avalanche Danger ?
|WEDNESDAY||THURSDAY||FRIDAY & SATURDAY|
Elevation: Above 1800′
Aspect: South and west, but all exposed to wind have been loaded in the last week
Terrain: Slopes steeper than 30 degrees, loaded by NE wind
Likelihood (Human Triggered): Likely
Danger Trend: Steady
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, Large, Very Large (size scale <here>)
Danger Trend: Increasing, Steady, Decreasing
Forecaster Confidence: Good, Fair, Poor
LIST OF AVALANCHE PROBLEMS <here>
SNOWPACK DISCUSSION: Coverage doesn’t look much better than before the Jan.13-17 storm that laid down 54 inches of snow. Both south and north wind has stripped and redistributed what fell. Now, strong northeast wind is again wrecking havoc: expect windslab depths to 3 feet or more on lee features. The cold temperatures, near or below zero F, at Thompson Pass and inland will decrease the bonding strength of fresh windslab and storm snow to old surfaces.
In wind protected areas, the storm snow is settling and has formed a soft slab. Skiers reported large whumphs near the Worthington Glacier, reminding us we cannot fully trust this snowpack yet, especially inland of Thompson Pass. Structurally the weak sugar snow lower in the pack is precariously holding up top heavy mid and upper slab layers.
The spooky large avalanche west of Milepost 33, south aspect about 4000′, is evidence that increased load can trigger and cause a step down to deep old presistent weak layers.
Find more photos and observations at the bottom of the page. Sharing your observations helps others make informed decisions.
Recent Avalanche Activity
With a few short windows of visibility Tuesday, surprisingly not much avalanche activity was observed. The increase in temperature during the storm seemed to glue on what wasn’t blown away. Please share what you see.
|WEATHER FORECAST for NEXT 24 HRS at 3,000 ft:|
|Temperature Forecast (Min/Max *F):||-12 / 3|
|Ridgetop Wind Forecast (direction/mph):||NE / 12-42|
|WIND & TEMPERATURE
PAST 24 hours
|Ferry Terminal||Thompson Pass|
|Average Wind Speed (mph) / Direction||10/ var||30 / var|
|Max Wind Gust (mph) / Direction||18 / NE||55 / NE|
|Temperature Min / Max (*F)||18 / 24||-2 / 12|
Weather Forecast: Windy and cold Wednesday and Thursday. With a mass of cold arctic air, north outflow wind is ramping up, only to die down by Friday when another low pressure will move in with clouds. Expect flurries by Saturday.
Additional Info & Media
|SNOW HISTORY:||Valdez 1/18 AM||Thompson Pass 1/18 AM|
|24 Hour Snow / Water Equiv.||trace” /0.03”||1″ /0.01″|
|Storm Snow /Water Equiv. (1/13-1/17)||46.41” /3.22″||54″ /4.2″|
|Current Snow Depth||44.07″||36″ (wind scoured)|
|January Snow / Water Equiv.||46.41″ /3.22″||54″ / 4.2″|
|Total Winter Snowfall / Water Equiv.||44.85″ / 13.04”||197″ / 18.6″|
|Snowload in Valdez||27.56 lbs/sq. ft.|
Photos of our new Nicks Valley Weather Station Python to the east, Berlin Wall to the west.
|SNOWFALL for LAST 24 HRS at OTHER STATIONS:|
|Nicks Valley at 4200 ft (in):||~5″|
|Upper Tsaina at 1750 ft (in):||~3″|
|Sugarloaf at 550 ft (in):||~3″|
|SNOW DEPTH & WATER SURVEY (1/3/2017)||Depth||Snow Water Equivalent|
|Milepost 2.5 Valdez||22.7″||4.7″|
|Milepost 29 Worthington Flats||44″||9.9″|
|Milepost 37 Tsaina River bridge||33.8″||5.6″|
|This survey is done the first week of each month.|
- 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
Interactive Map of Valdez Forecast Areas w/ Many Resource Layers (Trevor Grams)
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.