Issued: Wed, Apr 25, 2018 at 8AM

Expires: Sat, Apr 28, 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 High

Degrees of Avalanche Danger ?

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

Avalanche Danger Rose ?

Avalanche Problems ?

Problem Details

Wednesday Thursday Friday & Saturday


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:
   Above 2500′
   Lee of ridges, gullies, ridge tops exposed to wind
Likelihood (Human Triggered):
   Small – Large
Danger Trend:
Forecaster Confidence:

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

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


SNOWPACK DISCUSSION:     18+” of 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, these windslabs are bonding to old surfaces.

Our diurnal spring shed cycle continues as temps hover around freezing and the freezing level varies from 1500′-3000’+.  Temperatures around Thompson Pass have been above freezing during the day, with the surface of the snowpack freezing over night.  This cycle produces corn snow, but can also create surface instability and isothermic snowpack.

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”
PAST 24 hours
Ferry Terminal Thompson Pass
Average Wind Speed (mph) / Direction  3 / VAR   23 / SSE
Max Wind Gust (mph) / Direction  12 / W  50 / SSE
Temperature Min / Max (*F)  34 / 40  26 / 30

Weather Forecast:       Heavy snow above 2000′ with accumulations up to 20″, rain at lower elevations.  Light to moderate winds from SE capable of transporting snow.  Temperatures hovering around freezing.  The freezing level is around 2000′ elevation.   Rain and snow will continue through the week with freezing levels ranging from 1500′-3000′.

Additional Info & Media

SNOW HISTORY: Valdez 4/25 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:



  • 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


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


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:

Posted in Continental Forecasts, Intermountain Forecasts, Maritime Forecasts.

Forecaster: Ryan Van Luit