Issued: Thu, Apr 26, 2018 at 8AM

Expires: Sun, Apr 29, 2018

The last forecast for the Valdez Avalanche Center advisory area will be issued on April 30!

 

Above 2,500ft High

1,800 to 2,500ft High

Below 1,800ft Considerable

Degrees of Avalanche Danger ?

1. Low
2. Moderate
3. Considerable
4. High
5. Extreme

Avalanche Danger Rose ?

Avalanche Problems ?

Problem Details

Thursday Friday Saturday & Sunday
 

DANGER SCALE

Storm Snow:
Elevation:   Above 2500′
Aspect:   All
Sensitivity:   Responsive
Distribution:   Widespread
Likelihood (Human Triggered):     Nearly Certain
Size:   Small – Large 
Danger Trend:   Increasing
Forecaster Confidence:    Good

Wind Slab:
Elevation:
   Above 2500′
Aspect:
   W-N
Terrain:
   Lee of ridges, gullies, ridge tops exposed to wind
Sensitivity:
   Responsive
Distribution:
   Specific
Likelihood (Human Triggered):
   Likely
Size:
   Small – Large
Danger Trend:
   Increasing
Forecaster Confidence:
    Fair

Wet Avalanches:
Elevation:   Below 2500′
Aspect:   SE – S – SW
Terrain:   Southerly facing terrain on slopes above 30 degree slope angle, and any snowy slopes exposed to rain
Sensitivity:   Non-reactive when frozen – Responsive when warmed by above freezing temps and direct solar input, or rain
Distribution:   Specific – Widespread
Likelihood (Human Triggered): Possible
Size:   Small – Large
Danger Trend:   Increasing with rain
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:     18+” of dense new snow has accumulated above 2500′ elevation since 4/24. On Friday 4/20, the advisory area above 2500′ received 5″ snow, with 8″-12″ observed accumulated at 5000′ elevation on Loveland Glacier at Milepost 27.  Near Thompson Pass, southeast wind transported the new snow into small windslabs 3″-8″ deep lee of ridges, gullies and ridge tops. With warm temps, the windslabs and storm snow are bonding to older surfaces.

Temperatures continue to hover around freezing and from one day to the next, the freezing level varies from 1000′-3000’+.

Snow depths generally range from 30-300cm, including on glaciated terrain.

Check out our public observations.

Recent Avalanche Activity

No new observations.

Recent Weather

WEATHER FORECAST for NEXT 24 HRS at 3,000 ft:
Temperature Forecast (Min/Max *F): 26 / 29
Ridgetop Wind Forecast (direction/mph): S / 9-22
Snowfall (in):  2-3”
WIND & TEMPERATURE
PAST 24 hours
Ferry Terminal Thompson Pass
Average Wind Speed (mph) / Direction  4 / VAR   15 / SE
Max Wind Gust (mph) / Direction  12 / W  27 / SE
Temperature Min / Max (*F)  33 / 39  25 / 31

Weather Forecast:       Low visibility.  Dense snow above 1000′ with accumulations up to 5″ (12cm), rain at lower elevations.  Light to moderate winds from SE capable of transporting snow.  Temperatures hovering around freezing.  The freezing level is around 1000′ elevation.   Rain and snow will continue through the weekend with freezing levels ranging from 1000′-2500′.

Additional Info & Media

SNOW HISTORY: Valdez 4/26 AM Thompson Pass 4/24 AM
24 Hour Snow / Water Equiv. 0”/ 1.25″ 12″ / ?″
Storm Snow /Water Equiv. (4/21-25) 0” / 0″ 19″ / 0.5″ (?)
Current Snow Depth 4″ 62″
April Snow / Water Equiv. 0″ / 1.26″ 19″ / 0.7″
Total Winter Snowfall / Water Equiv. 132.59″ / 28.47” 392″ / 37.4″
Snowload in Valdez ~ lbs/sq. ft.

 

SNOW DEPTH & WATER SURVEY (3/4/2018) Depth Snow Water Equivalent
Milepost 2.5 Valdez  32.2″  9″
Milepost 18 42″ 11″
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.

Weather Quicklinks:

 

SNOW CLIMATE ZONES:

  • coastal-zone-iconMaritime (Coastal) – from the Port of Valdez to Thompson Pass, all waters flowing into Valdez Arm and everything south of Marshall Pass.
  • intermountain-zone-iconInter-mountain (Transitional) – between Thompson Pass and Rendezvous Lodge.
  • interior-zone-iconContinental (Interior) – the dry north side of the Chugach (north of 46 Mile, including the Tonsina River).

Photo of Thompson Pass

thompson-pass-ski-runs

Interactive Map of Valdez Forecast Areas w/ Many Resource Layers (Trevor Grams)

climate-zones-topoclimate-zones-satellitegoogle-earth1

Run Map of Thompson Pass Area (Sean Wisner) (2MB download)
VAC Run Map Thompson Pass

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.avalancheforecasts.com/

Posted in Continental Forecasts, Intermountain Forecasts, Maritime Forecasts.

Forecaster: Ryan Van Luit