Bring your families and kids out to Beacons & Eggs. Saturday March 31 10am-noon. Salmon Berry Ski Hill at Mile 6. Learn and practice backcountry safety skills with some Easter fun.
Above 2,500ft Moderate
1,800 to 2,500ft Low
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: Decreasing
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>
The March 19-22 northerly wind event has left the mountains raked over with much bare rock in between the hard, wind blasted slopes. Gullies got filled in with deep, smooth windslab. Alpine snow textures vary from undulating foot high sastrugi to tiny patches of less hard sand-dune like surfaces with many areas peeled back to old crusts.
What windslab was formed (a lot of snow sublimated into the atmosphere), is settling in and appears to be bonding to old snow. The last snow ended March 19.
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.
Anticipating our next snow coming in Monday: if temperatures are cool, it may not bond with the current snow surfaces.
The warm daytime temperatures and longer solar radiation is causing southerly aspects to thaw, beware of the possibility of roller balls or small wet loose avalanches out of rocky steeps.
Check out our public observations <here>
Recent Avalanche Activity
March 22: A few pockets of windslab released on steep west facing gully walls and rollovers including a 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):||15 / 21|
|Ridgetop Wind Forecast (direction/mph):||NE / 5-15|
|WIND & TEMPERATURE
PAST 24 hours
|Ferry Terminal||Thompson Pass|
|Average Wind Speed (mph) / Direction||10 / NE||23 / NE|
|Max Wind Gust (mph) / Direction||12 / NE||32 / ENE|
|Temperature Min / Max (*F)||27 / 43||9 / 23|
Weather Forecast: Beautiful spring day. 20sF. Light to moderate north wind. Clear skies Sunday with cloud coming in Monday. A few flurries Monday night with a few inches snow accumulating through Tuesday.
Additional Info & Media
|SNOW HISTORY:||Valdez 3/25 AM||Thompson Pass 3/25 AM|
|24 Hour Snow / Water Equiv.||0”/ 0.0″||0″ / 0.0″|
|Storm Snow /Water Equiv. (3/15-19)||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.