Above 2,500ft Moderate
1,800 to 2,500ft Moderate
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): 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 snow surface is mostly firm with textures varying from undulating sastrugi to tiny patches of softer wind effected snow. The wind slabs lee of ridges and gullies are slowly adjusting to the new load, and on slopes above 35< are still sensitive to human trigger. In our recent test pits above 3000′ where wind slab is not formed, the top meter (3′) of snow is showing no signs of propagation.
In anticipation of our next snow cycle – If our next snowfall comes in relatively cold and light, it may not create a strong bond with the current snow surface.
With moderate temperatures and the spring sun being more intense now, any rapid warming of surface snow could create instabilities. If you see signs of rapid warming (“roller balls”,”pinwheels”, wet avalanches), it’s best to go elsewhere.
Check out our public observations <here>
Recent Avalanche Activity
March 22: D2 wind slab on S facing slope at 3500′ near milepost 29
March 21: Natural wind slabs to size D2, including onto the highway at Milepost 23.
March 19-20: Numerous natural wind slab 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.
|WEATHER FORECAST for NEXT 24 HRS at 3,000 ft:|
|Temperature Forecast (Min/Max *F):||12 / 20|
|Ridgetop Wind Forecast (direction/mph):||NE / 15-35|
|WIND & TEMPERATURE
PAST 24 hours
|Ferry Terminal||Thompson Pass|
|Average Wind Speed (mph) / Direction||8 / NE||27 / NE|
|Max Wind Gust (mph) / Direction||23 / EME||49 / NE|
|Temperature Min / Max (*F)||29 / 38||11 / 20|
Weather Forecast: Clear skies Saturday and Sunday. Variable winds light to moderate. Upper elevation temperatures dropping to 10*F overnight and raising into the twenties during the day. The port of Valdez will see temperatures around freezing during the day. Chance of precipitation on Monday and Tuesday.
Additional Info & Media
|SNOW HISTORY:||Valdez 3/24 AM||Thompson Pass 3/24 AM|
|24 Hour Snow / Water Equiv.||0”/ 0.0″||0″ / 0.0″|
|Storm Snow /Water Equiv. (3/9-14)||19” / 0.41″||40″ / 1.5″|
|Current Snow Depth||32″||84″|
|March Snow / Water Equiv.||20.5″ / 2.61″||49″ / 3.6″|
|Total Winter Snowfall / Water Equiv.||132.59″ / 27.2”||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.