Pay attention to steep slopes lee of the northerly wind. Windslab will often feel stiffer or have shooting cracks. Avoid windloaded slopes with terrain traps beneath. The danger is increasing with more snowfall and continued wind.
Avalanche Center Tsaina Lodge Spring Full Moon Bon Fire FUNraiser
Friday April 14 presenting Acoustic Avalanche
Above 2,500ft Moderate
1,800 to 2,500ft Low
Below 1,800ft Low
Degrees of Avalanche Danger ?
|MONDAY||TUESDAY||WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY|
Elevation: Above 2000′
Aspect: Lee to northerly and easterly 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:
While northeast wind transports new storm snow (4-12″), windslabs will build. The question is how will these new slabs adhere to old snow? March 20th brought 5-24″. That snow was observed to have near surface facets to 2mm, which will function as a weak layer between the newest snow/windslab and the old hard surfaces. Possibility of human triggered slab to 24″ deep on steep rollovers and near ridgetop.
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:
- Expect fresh windslab to be sensitive, especially where it is building on old hard surfaces
- March 25 reports of upper elevation (>4500′ elevation) human triggered windslabs to a foot thick releasing off steep slopes.
|WEATHER FORECAST for NEXT 24 HRS at 3,000 ft:|
|Temperature Forecast (Min/Max *F):||10 / 30|
|Ridgetop Wind Forecast (direction/mph):||NE / 5-40|
|Snowfall (in/water equivalent):||4-8″ / 0.6″|
|WIND & TEMPERATURE
PAST 24 hours
|Ferry Terminal||Thompson Pass|
|Average Wind Speed (mph) / Direction||8 / NE||26 / NE|
|Max Wind Gust (mph) / Direction||17 / NE||39 / NE|
|Temperature Min / Max (*F)||26 / 33||5 / 16|
Weather Forecast: With some cloud moving into the region supported by a low pressure system located south of the Aleutians, we should see some precipitation ~4-8″ snow by Wednesday with possibility of a foot by Thursday (water equivalent of 1/2″). While moderate to strong northeast wind continues, precipitation will not push interior. Temps will trend warmer by mid-week. Visibility expected to be poor or in and out.
Additional Info & Media
|SNOW HISTORY:||Valdez 3/28 AM||Thompson Pass 3/27 AM|
|24 Hour Snow / Water Equiv.||9.75”/.58″||2″ /0.2″|
|Storm Snow /Water Equiv. (3/28)||10.6″ /.00″||2″ /0.2″|
|Current Snow Depth||44.8″||36″|
|March Snow / Water Equiv.||10.9″ /.62″||13″ / 0.6″|
|Total Winter Snowfall / Water Equiv.||233.8″ /21.5”||296″ / 28.3″|
|Snowload in Valdez||52.0 lbs/sq. ft.|
|SNOWFALL at OTHER STATIONS:
LAST 24 HRS (3/27 AM)/STORM TOTAL (3/27)/STORM WATER EQUIV.:
|Nicks Valley at 4200 ft (in):||3″ / 3″ / 0.3″|
|Upper Tsaina at 1750 ft (in):||2″ / 2″ / 0.2″|
|Sugarloaf at 550 ft (in):||0.1″/ 0.1″ / 0.01″|
|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.