Use terrain to your advantage to avoid wind loaded gullies, rollovers and ridges.
Both natural and human triggered avalanches were seen yesterday with thicknesses up to 2+ feet.
These are red flag signs of instability: it is loading faster than it can bond to old surfaces.
Above 2,500ft Considerable
1,800 to 2,500ft Considerable
Below 1,800ft Moderate
Degrees of Avalanche Danger ?
|FRIDAY||SATURDAY||SUNDAY & MONDAY|
Elevation: Above 2500″
Aspect: Lee to northerly winds
Terrain: Near ridges, gullies, rollovers
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>
Maritime (Coastal) Specific:
Just when you thought all loose snow had already moved, strong to extreme winds continue to scour deeper and drift 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:
- Mar. 2: More natural wind slabs to size 2 pulling off steep ridgelines and rollovers in terrain exposed to strong northerly outflow wind.
- Feb. 28: 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.
|WEATHER FORECAST for NEXT 24 HRS at 3,000 ft:|
|Temperature Forecast (Min/Max *F):||-5 / 10|
|Ridgetop Wind Forecast (direction/mph):||NE / 40-60|
|Snowfall (in/water equivalent):||0.0″ / 0.0″|
|WIND & TEMPERATURE
PAST 24 hours
|Ferry Terminal||Thompson Pass|
|Average Wind Speed (mph) / Direction||18 / NE||56 / NE|
|Max Wind Gust (mph) / Direction||56 / NNE||79 / NE|
|Temperature Min / Max (*F)||19 / 25||0 / 7|
Weather Forecast: As gale force winds continue to barrage the mountains and town…..button everything up until later tonight when things seem they will calm down. The cold and clear will remain, with another cold and windy push possible on Sunday and into Monday. No precipitation expected through next week.
Additional Info & Media
|SNOW HISTORY:||Valdez 3/3 AM||Thompson Pass 3/3 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 (3/3 AM)/STORM TOTAL (3/3)/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 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.|
- 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.