Thursday-Sunday 3/2-3/5

Issued: Thu, Mar 02, 2017 at 8AM

Expires: Sun, Mar 05, 2017

Remain tuned into the locations and sensitivity of new wind slabs formed by the consistently strong outflow winds from the north.

 

Above 2,500ft Moderate

1,800 to 2,500ft Moderate

Below 1,800ft Low

Degrees of Avalanche Danger ?

1. Low
2. Moderate
3. Considerable
4. High
5. Extreme

Avalanche Danger Rose ?

Avalanche Problems ?

Problem Details

THURSDAY FRIDAY SATURDAY & SUNDAY

DANGER SCALE

 

WIND SLAB:
Elevation:   Above 2500″
Aspect:  Lee to northerly winds
Terrain:   Near ridges, gullies, rollovers
Sensitivity:   Responsive
Distribution:   Specific
Likelihood (Human Triggered):   Possible
Size:   Small – Large
Danger Trend:   Increasing
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

AVALANCHE PROBLEM TOOLBOX <here>

SNOWPACK DISCUSSION:

Maritime (Coastal) Specific: 

As strong to extreme winds continue to drift and move any and all loose snow into low lying gullies, trees, crevasses and rollovers, expect firm and variable conditions with exposed old crusts, wind board and sastrugi dominating the environment. Extra effort will be necessary to seek out the wind protected nooks that harbor soft snow. Be wary along corniced and loaded ridgelines, convex rollovers and steep gully walls. Wind slab needs time to bond to underlying snow and can trigger very large and unpredictable avalanches.

 

Find more photos and observations at the bottom of the page. Sharing your observations creates an informed community that everyone benefits from at some point.

Recent Avalanche Activity

Maritime (Coastal) Specific: 

  • Commonly seen during strong outflow winds, natural avalanches to D2 have pulled off the rollovers on the south side of Odyssey just above the hairpin.

Recent Weather

WEATHER FORECAST for NEXT 24 HRS at 3,000 ft:
Temperature Forecast (Min/Max *F):  -13 / 1
Ridgetop Wind Forecast (direction/mph):  NE / 30-70
Snowfall (in/water equivalent):  0.0″ / 0.0″
WIND & TEMPERATURE
PAST 24 hours
Ferry Terminal Thompson Pass
Average Wind Speed (mph) / Direction  22 / ENE  46 / NE
Max Wind Gust (mph) / Direction  40 / ESE  63 / NE
Temperature Min / Max (*F)  19 / 23  -3 / 2

Weather Forecast:     While the blocking high pressure system over mainland Alaska sets up camp and decides to stick around for awhile, expect more of the same…..bitter cold and clear conditions with brisk winds out of the north. Luckily the low in the gulf has opted for moving on and as it distances itself from us, the winds will back down Friday night. Some clouds could present themselves Sunday night and again Monday with no associated precipitation.

Additional Info & Media

SNOW HISTORY: Valdez 3/2 AM Thompson Pass 3/2 AM
24 Hour Snow / Water Equiv.  0”/0″ 0″ /0″
Storm Snow /Water Equiv. (2/23)  1” /0.05″ 2″ /0.1″
Current Snow Depth 45″ 42″
March Snow / Water Equiv. 0″ /0″ 0″ / 0″
Total Winter Snowfall / Water Equiv. 222.8″ /20.9” 283″ / 27.7″
Snowload in Valdez ~ lbs/sq. ft.

 

SNOWFALL at OTHER STATIONS:
LAST 24 HRS (3/2 AM)/STORM TOTAL (3/2)/STORM WATER EQUIV.:
Nicks Valley at 4200 ft (in): 0″ / 0″ / 0″
Upper Tsaina at 1750 ft (in): 0″ / 0″ / 0″
Sugarloaf at 550 ft (in): 0″/ 0″ / 0″
SNOW DEPTH & WATER SURVEY (2/28/2017) Depth Snow Water Equivalent
Milepost 2.5 Valdez  41.8″  12″
Milepost 18 42.7″ 11.5″
Milepost 29 Worthington Flats 63.6″ 18.6″
Milepost 37 Tsaina River bridge 49.3″ 12.5″
This survey is done the first week of each month.

Weather Quicklinks:

  • 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:

  • coastal-zone-iconMaritime (Coastal) – from the Port of Valdez to Thompson Pass, all waters flowing into Valdez Arm and everything south of Marshall Pass.
  • intermountain-zone-iconInter-mountain (Transitional) – between Thompson Pass and Rendezvous Lodge.
  • interior-zone-iconContinental (Interior) – the dry north side of the Chugach (north of 46 Mile, including the Tonsina River).

Photo of Thompson Pass

thompson-pass-ski-runs

Interactive Map of Valdez Forecast Areas w/ Many Resource Layers (Trevor Grams)

climate-zones-topoclimate-zones-satellitegoogle-earth1

Run Map of Thompson Pass Area (Sean Wisner) (2MB download)
VAC Run Map Thompson Pass

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.avalancheforecasts.com/

Posted in Maritime Forecasts.

Forecaster: Kevin Salys