Above 2,500ft Considerable
1,800 to 2,500ft Considerable
Below 1,800ft Low
Degrees of Avalanche Danger ?
Elevation: Above 1000′
Aspect: Lee of ridges, gullies, ridgetops
Terrain: All terrain exposed to northerly winds
Likelihood (Human Triggered): Likely
Size: Small – Large
Danger Trend: Steady
Forecaster Confidence: Good
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>
SNOWPACK DISCUSSION: Winds gusting over 100 mph continue to move a lot of snow producing numerous, mostly smaller avalanches with crown fracture lines, and even deposits, quickly filled in with subsequent drifted snow. A great quantity of eroded snow simply disappears with high winds and low relative humidity. Once the old snow is eroded, it moves by saltation which is the snow and ice crystals bouncing along the surface until they leap off cliffs becoming an aerosol snow dust in the atmosphere which is sublimated into thin air. This same process is also why all the rock hard ice disappears from the road surface in the wind areas.
Excellent Observations <here> thanks to Scott, G-ram, Jay, Gareth, Trevor, and Alex (more than one Alex?).
Recent Avalanche Activity
March 21: Windslabs to size D2 continue to release, including onto the highway at Milepost 23.
March 19-20: Numerous windslab releases to size D2 observed between Mileposts 22 and 29 across Thompson Pass with the initial onset of the present extreme northerly wind event, transporting available soft snow.
March 17: D2 Wind slab, upper elevation, north aspect inter-mountain snow climate zone, accidental human triggered one foot deep, 30 feet wide, ran 450 feet.
March 16: D1 Storm slab, intentional human triggered.
March 14: D2 Storm slab, intentional human triggered.
|WEATHER FORECAST for NEXT 24 HRS at 3,000 ft:|
|Temperature Forecast (Min/Max *F):||12 / 18|
|Ridgetop Wind Forecast (direction/mph):||NE / 55-105|
|WIND & TEMPERATURE
PAST 24 hours
|Ferry Terminal||Thompson Pass|
|Average Wind Speed (mph) / Direction||22 / NE||75 / NE|
|Max Wind Gust (mph) / Direction||39 / NE||100 / NE|
|Temperature Min / Max (*F)||31 / 40||10 / 22|
Weather Forecast: Beautiful clear skies until Saturday with strong to extreme (>40 mph) northerly outflow winds forecast to well exceed hurricane force (73 mph) into Thursday. Temperatures dropping to single digits overnight and raising into the twenties during the day. Stunningly beautiful vistas. Winds abating Friday. Clouds Saturday. Computer models suggest snow next week but would you bet on it?
Additional Info & Media
|SNOW HISTORY:||Valdez 3/18 AM||Thompson Pass 3/20 AM|
|24 Hour Snow / Water Equiv.||0”/ 0.03″||2″ / 0.3″|
|Storm Snow /Water Equiv. (3/9-14)||19” / 0.41″||40″ / 1.5″|
|Current Snow Depth||33″||84″|
|March Snow / Water Equiv.||20″ / 2.56″||49″ / 3.6″|
|Total Winter Snowfall / Water Equiv.||132.54″ / 26.93”||372″ / 36.6″|
|Snowload in Valdez||55 lbs/sq. ft.|
|SNOW DEPTH & WATER SURVEY (3/4/2018)||Depth||Snow Water Equivalent|
|Milepost 2.5 Valdez||32.2″||9″|
|Milepost 29 Worthington Flats||62.4″||21.2″|
|Milepost 37 Tsaina River bridge||58.4″||14.2″|
|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.