Avoid features like gully walls and ridge tops that are actively being loaded by northeast wind. Cautious route finding and conservative decision making essential. Re-group out of harm’s way.
Put your avalanche eyeballs on and look for recent avalanche activity from the Dec.2-14 storm event. Please share your obs.
Above 2,500ft Considerable
1,800 to 2,500ft Moderate
Below 1,800ft Low
Degrees of Avalanche Danger ?
Dry surface snow has been drifted in the last 24 hours by light to moderate NE wind. Expect fresh windslab to 6-12″. Deeper pockets lee of ridges and gullies could be sensitive to human trigger.
Dec.2-14 storm snow totaled 110″. Producing snowpack depths 5-6 feet at Thompson Pass with depth increasing with elevation. On Little Girls at about 3500′, Dec.15, an observer reported finding an average snowpack depth of 8-9′ with 4-5′ of that being December’s storm snow.
Recent Avalanche Activity
Numerous (mostly loose snow?) avalanches to size 2.5 ran during the storm(s) December 12-15. Both crown lines and deposits have been covered with subsequent snowfall.
Moist snow avalanches to size 2.5 observed Monday December 11 to the valley floor at Milepost 40 off Wilbur’s.
Numerous avalanches to size 3 ran to the valley floors across the region Wednesday December 6 and Friday December 8.
|WEATHER FORECAST for NEXT 24 HRS at 3,000 ft:|
|Temperature Forecast (Min/Max *F):||14/26|
|Ridgetop Wind Forecast (direction/mph):||NE/10-25|
|Snowfall (in/water equivalent):||trace” /0.1″|
|WIND & TEMPERATURE
PAST 24 hours
|Ferry Terminal||Thompson Pass|
|Average Wind Speed (mph) / Direction||2 /variable||12 /ENE|
|Max Wind Gust (mph) / Direction||4 /NE-NNE||26 /ENE|
|Temperature Min / Max (*F)||28 /33||18/26|
Monday clear skies. Cooler temps warming by Tuesday with precip. amounts to 1″ water by Wednesday. While skies are clear, light to moderate NE wind shifting to SE as next low pressure moves in. Expect over a foot of new snow by Wednesday.
Additional Info & Media
|SNOW HISTORY:||Valdez 12/18 AM||Thompson Pass 12/18 AM|
|24 Hour Snow / Water Equiv.||1”/ 0.06″||2″ /0.1″|
|Storm Snow /Water Equiv. [12/10-18]||3.5″ /3.5″snow+rain||46″ /6.4″|
|Current Snow Depth||16″||60″|
|December Snow / Water Equiv.||38″ /13.17″||132″ / 17.6″|
|Total Winter Snowfall / Water Equiv.||51″ /15.42”||197″ / 23.1″|
|Snowload in Valdez||45 lbs/sq. ft.|
|SNOWFALL at OTHER STATIONS:
LAST 24 HRS (12/18 AM)/STORM TOTAL (12/10-18)/STORM WATER EQUIV.:
|Nicks Valley at 4200 ft (in):||0″ / ?” / ?”|
|Upper Tsaina at 1750 ft (in):||0″ / 6″ /1.9″|
|Sugarloaf at 550 ft (in):||?”/ ?” /3.8″|
|SNOW DEPTH & WATER SURVEY (12/2017)||Depth||Snow Water Equivalent|
|Milepost 2.5 Valdez||″||″|
|Milepost 29 Worthington Flats||″||″|
|Milepost 37 Tsaina River bridge||″||″|
|This survey is done the first week of each month.|
- Northeast Prince William Sound NWS Weather Forecast
- Middleton Island Radar for Valdez area
- GOES Alaska water vapor satellite loop
- NOAA NWS Recreational spot forecast for Thompson Pass
- Thompson Pass MP 25.7 RWIS weather station 2740′ (Mesowest)
- Valdez Marine Ferry Terminal weather station sea level
- Nicks Happy Valley above MP 30 weather station 4200′ (scroll to Nicks Valley)
- Upper Tsaina River Snotel near MP 32 1750′
- Sugarloaf Snotel 551′
- Above Valdez Glacier Cryosphere program weather station 6600′ <map here>
- Valdez Blueberry Weather Plot observations (scroll to bottom: Valdez City)
- More Mountain Weather resources for Alaska
- GFS 16 Day Model for Valdez
- Model Average Meteogram for Valdez
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.