Avalanche danger is increasing with the rapid rise in temperature and continued heavy precipitation.
Above 2,500ft High
1,800 to 2,500ft High
Below 1,800ft Considerable
Degrees of Avalanche Danger ?
Above the rainline, new storm snow is accumulating over sturdy bed surfaces from November windslab and early season facets. The new snow is being transported by moderate southerly wind.
- 2-3 feet of storm/wind slab collapsing over weaker facets, and
- upside down snowpack – heavy warmer storm snow over weak old snow
Below the rainline, rain is saturating the snowpack and decreasing strength.
Excellent field reports <here>. Thanks Gareth and PWS College avalanche class.
Recent Avalanche Activity
Large avalanches heard during 12/3 night from valley floor. Roofs are sliding. Wet loose releasing in the steeps at sea level.
|WEATHER FORECAST for NEXT 24 HRS at 3,000 ft:|
|Temperature Forecast (Min/Max *F):||28/32|
|Ridgetop Wind Forecast (direction/mph):||SE/20-40|
|Snowfall (in/water equivalent):||7-12″ /1.5 “|
|WIND & TEMPERATURE
PAST 24 hours
|Ferry Terminal||Thompson Pass|
|Average Wind Speed (mph) / Direction||0-5 /var||30 /SE|
|Max Wind Gust (mph) / Direction||8 /W||45 /SE|
|Temperature Min / Max (*F)||30 /37||25 /30|
This week’s accompanying atmospheric river may have as much as a foot of water (!) which will deposit a lot of snow in the upper elevations. Expect rain at sea level. With the warm wet air pushed up the Copper River through the Tsaina gorge and into the lower elevations of the continental snow climate zone north of Thompson Pass, the freezing level may rise above the elevation of Thompson Pass.
Additional Info & Media
|SNOW HISTORY:||Valdez 12/4 AM||Thompson Pass 12/5 AM|
|24 Hour Snow / Water Equiv.||14”/2.08″||10″ /1.1″|
|Storm Snow /Water Equiv. [12/3-pres]||14″ /2.08″||30″ /3.1″|
|Current Snow Depth||17″||39″|
|December Snow / Water Equiv.||14″ /2.08″||30″ / 4.4″|
|Total Winter Snowfall / Water Equiv.||79″ /8.88”||95″ / 9.9″|
|Snowload in Valdez||44 lbs/sq. ft.|
|SNOWFALL at OTHER STATIONS:
LAST 24 HRS (12/4 AM)/STORM TOTAL (12/2-present)/STORM WATER EQUIV.:
|Nicks Valley at 4200 ft (in):||13″ / 20″ / ?”|
|Upper Tsaina at 1750 ft (in):||2″ / 2+rain” / 1.1″|
|Sugarloaf at 550 ft (in):||13″/ 13″ /?”|
|SNOW DEPTH & WATER SURVEY (12/2017)||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.