Above 2,500ft Considerable
1,800 to 2,500ft Moderate
Below 1,800ft Low
Degrees of Avalanche Danger ?
|FRIDAY||SATURDAY||SUNDAY & MONDAY|
Elevation: Above 2000 feet elevation
Aspect: Lee to southerly wind during New Years storm AND new windslabs created with clear weather northerly outflow winds Thursday January 4.
Terrain: All terrain exposed to wind
Likelihood (Human Triggered): Possible
Size: Small – Large
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>
The big concern is the near surface faceting <info here> and surface hoar now buried by the New Year’s storm snow. See Observations <here>; many thanks to those submitting for which we’re all much obliged.
Two to four feet of storm snow accumulated since the New Year. During the storm strong southerly winds drifted windslabs to waist deep at Thompson Pass. Following the storm northerly outflow winds redistributed the new snow creating new windslabs over wind exposed terrain.
A few small storm slab releases have been observed along the highway through the inter-mountain snow climate zone, with the releases running on the Boxing Day surface hoar.
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
Reports of (unintentional?) human triggered cornice releases Thursday January 4.
Tuesday and Wednesday January 2nd and 3rd had numerous windslabs to size D2 ran on slopes near the highway over Thompson Pass as well as a few small wet releases in Keystone Canyon. Limited observations. See Observations <here>, including human triggered releases on Road Run.
|WEATHER FORECAST for NEXT 24 HRS at 3,000 ft:|
|Temperature Forecast (Min/Max *F):||10 / 20|
|Ridgetop Wind Forecast (direction/mph):||NE / 10-50|
|WIND & TEMPERATURE
PAST 24 hours
|Ferry Terminal||Thompson Pass|
|Average Wind Speed (mph) / Direction||~ / ~||30 / NE|
|Max Wind Gust (mph) / Direction||~ / ~||50 / NE|
|Temperature Min / Max (*F)||~ / ~||12 / 22|
Weather Forecast: Sunny Friday. Clouds returning over the weekend with snow starting Saturday depositing 2-4″ by nightfall Monday. Outflow northerly winds strongest during the clear weather, decreasing Monday. Skies clearing again next week.
Additional Info & Media
|SNOW HISTORY:||Valdez 1/3 AM||Thompson Pass 1/3 AM|
|24 Hour Snow / Water Equiv.||0”/ 0.43″||5″ / 0.2″|
|Storm Snow /Water Equiv. (1/1)||” / ″||24″ / 2.5″|
|Current Snow Depth||25″||78″|
|January Snow / Water Equiv.||10″ /2.82 ″||24″ / 2.5″|
|Total Winter Snowfall / Water Equiv.||74″ / 19.12”||231″ / 26.7″|
|Snowload in Valdez||42 lbs/sq. ft.|
|SNOWFALL at OTHER STATIONS:
LAST 24 HRS / STORM TOTAL / STORM WATER EQUIV.:
|Nicks Valley at 4200 ft (in):||~” / ~” / ~”|
|Upper Tsaina at 1750 ft (in):||~” / ~” / ~”|
|Sugarloaf at 550 ft (in):||~” ~” / ~”|
|SNOW DEPTH & WATER SURVEY (2/1/2017)||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.