Sunday through Wednesday, February 1-4, 2015

SUNDAY MONDAY TUESDAY & WEDNESDAY
DANGER SCALE
  • mountain icon with elevationsUpper Elevations: CONSIDERABLE danger lee of wind exposed terrain.
  • Mid Elevations: MODERATE danger
  • Below treeline: LOW danger

 

DANGER TREND:   The danger is steady over wind exposed teerrain as strong winds continue to load avalanche start zones. Areas not exposed to winds strong enough to move snow have decreasing danger.

AVALANCHE PROBLEM:

 Wind-Slab iconWind Slab Avalanches - Consistently strong ridgetop winds from the northeast continue to cause extensive snow transport and build fresh layers of sensitive windslab.

 

List of Avalanche Problems <here>

TRAVEL ADVISORY:       Pay particular attention to cross-loaded slopes, especially gullies and terrain traps.

AVALANCHE ACTIVITY:     

  • January 31: Windslab release size D2 off Schoolbus at Milepost 28.
  • January 25 – 28: Windslab avalanches to size D2 were naturally triggered by continued northeast wind in the mid-upper elevations.  Mileposts 25 and 30 at the Pass, off 27 Mile Peak, Catcher’s Mitt, the north side of Odyssey, Goodwills, and Python.
  • A number of storm slab releases to size 2.5 from the January 22-25 storm; notable fracture lines were seen on Sapphire, Tone’s, Cracked Ice, and in the Tsaina Valley.

Avalanche sizing using the destructive scale <here>

Avalanche size estimation aid <here>.

SNOWPACK DISCUSSION:     The main problem is the new windslabs. The ice crusts still exist buried in the snowpack and remain potential bed surfaces. The buried faceted sugar snow is less a concern south of Thompson Pass, but remains a concern north of the Pass. Surface hoar development and the growth of near surface facets in wind protected with the clear cold weather since last weekend’s storm will become a future weak layer once buried sometime in the distant future.

Check out the detailed observations <here>.

WEATHER:      Sunny weather to continue. Cool temperatures becoming cold, well below zero. Strong winds to 60 mph over exposed terrain Sunday possibly abating somewhat Monday and Tuesday before cranking up again Wednesday.

Use links below to follow the up and coming weather.

SNOW HISTORY:
Valdez – 2/1 AM
Thompson Pass – 2/1 AM
 Current Snow Depth  30″  50″
24 Hour Snow / Water Equiv. 0″ / 0″
0 / 0″
Storm Snow / Water: 1/29-30 5.3″ / 0.3″ 5″ / 0.3″
February Snow / Water Equiv. 0″ / 0″ 0″ / 0″
Total Winter Snowfall / Water Equiv.
76.3″ / 10.5″ 205″ / 26″
Snowload in Valdez 36.4 lbs / square foot
SNOW DEPTH  January 28, 2015 Depth Snow Water Equivalent
Milepost 2.5 Valdez  31″  7.1″
Milepost 18 36″
7.4″
Milepost 29 Worthington Flats 54″ 11.6″
Milepost 37 Tsaina River bridge 40″ 5.9″
 AVALANCHE FORECASTER CONFIDENCE:   Good overall, while confidence is Fair further north of Thompson Pass in the continental/interior climate zone where few observations have been reported.

Weather Quicklinks:

  • NWS forecast for Northeast Prince William Sound <here>
  • NOAA NWS spot forecast for Thompson Pass <here>
  • Valdez Glacier UAF weather station at 6600 feet <data here> <map here>.
  • Thompson Pass weather <here>.
  • Further weather resources <here>

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).
Elevations:
  • Upper Elevations: Alpine – Above 2,000 feet
  • Mid Elevations: Treeline ~ 2,000 feet
  • Lower Elevations: Below treeline – Below 2,000 feet

 

Run map of some of the forecast area <here>

NEWS: 

  • Develop snow analysis skills at the Avalanche Level 2 March 6-9, 2015.
  • Our region is “one of the snowiest places on earth” says the recent weather detective climatologist investigation into the Serendipity / Rendezvous snowfall record set in 1963 <here>.

Free smart phone avalanche forecasts at: http://www.avalancheforecasts.com/

This forecast expires after 24 hours

January 31 – February 3, 2015

SATURDAY SUNDAY MONDAY & TUESDAY
DANGER SCALE
  • mountain icon with elevationsUpper Elevations: MODERATE danger
  • Mid Elevations: MODERATE danger
  • Below treeline: LOW danger

 

 

DANGER TREND:   The danger is decreasing with time as the new snow settles and bonds to its new home.

AVALANCHE PROBLEM:

 Wind-Slab iconWind Slab Avalanches - Consistently strong ridgetop winds from the northeast continue to cause extensive snow transport and build fresh layers of sensitive windslab.

 

List of Avalanche Problems <here>

 

TRAVEL ADVISORY:       Despite upcoming beautiful, clear days, stay in tune with your snow analysis. Look out for fresh wind slab that hasn’t had time to bond to the new snow below it. Firm, hollow surfaces and cracking are signs of instability. These have potential to propagate large distances and catch you off guard. Newly formed soft wind features have been cracking and sliding off easily when approached.

AVALANCHE ACTIVITY:     

  • January 25 – 28: Windslab avalanches to size D2 were naturally triggered by continued northeast wind in the mid-upper elevations.  Mileposts 25 and 30 at the Pass, off 27 Mile Peak, Catcher’s Mitt, the north side of Odyssey, Goodwills, and Python.
  • A number of storm slab releases to size 2.5 from the January 22-25 storm; notable fracture lines were seen on Sapphire, Tone’s, Cracked Ice, and in the Tsaina Valley.

Avalanche sizing using the destructive scale <here>

Avalanche size estimation aid <here>.

SNOWPACK DISCUSSION:  Another 6-8 inches of low density snow fell on top of last weekends two feet of storm snow from January 22-25. Above 3500 feet there are places with four feet of new snow. While this snow settles and bonds, note the weak density change within the new snow that is buried one to two feet from the surface. This weakness is gaining strength, but still showing failure in tests, particularly further inland.

Also, the last few clear days allowed for the growth of some surface hoar that was preserved in wind protected areas. Investigate if this weak layer was bured in tact below new snow and wind slab in your area.

The deeply buried early season crusts and faceted sugar snow are still easily identifiable and collapse in testing, however, they too are gaining strength over time.

Check out the detailed observations <here>.

WEATHER:      Beautiful, clear and cool days continue until Wednesday when clouds may build. Strong winds will dominate the ridgetops and the Thompson Pass gap, possibly letting up next week.

Use links below to follow the up and coming weather.

SNOW HISTORY:
Valdez – 1/31 AM
Thompson Pass – 1/29  AM
 Current Snow Depth  34″  53″
24 Hour Snow / Water Equiv. 0″ / 0″
5 / 0.3″
Storm Snow / Water: 1/29-30 5.3″ / 0.3″ 5″ / 0.3″
January Snow / Water Equiv. 35.3″ / 3.9″ 55″ / 5″
Total Winter Snowfall / Water Equiv.
76.3″ / 10.5″ 205″ / 26″
Snowload in Valdez 43.4 lbs / square foot
SNOW DEPTH  January 28, 2015 Depth Snow Water Equivalent
Milepost 2.5 Valdez  31″  7.1″
Milepost 18 36″
7.4″
Milepost 29 Worthington Flats 54″ 11.6″
Milepost 37 Tsaina River bridge 40″ 5.9″
 AVALANCHE FORECASTER CONFIDENCE:   Good overall, while confidence is Fair further north of Thompson Pass in the continental/interior climate zone where few observations have been reported.

Weather Quicklinks:

  • NWS forecast for Northeast Prince William Sound <here>
  • NOAA NWS spot forecast for Thompson Pass <here>
  • Valdez Glacier UAF weather station at 6600 feet <data here> <map here>.
  • Thompson Pass weather <here>.
  • Further weather resources <here>

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).
Elevations:
  • Upper Elevations: Alpine – Above 2,000 feet
  • Mid Elevations: Treeline ~ 2,000 feet
  • Lower Elevations: Below treeline – Below 2,000 feet

 

Run map of some of the forecast area <here>

NEWS: 

  • Develop snow analysis skills at the Avalanche Level 2 March 6-9, 2015.
  • Our region is “one of the snowiest places on earth” says the recent weather detective climatologist investigation into the Serendipity / Rendezvous snowfall record set in 1963 <here>.

Free smart phone avalanche forecasts at: http://www.avalancheforecasts.com/

This forecast expires after 24 hours

January 30 – February 2, 2015

FRIDAY SATURDAY SUNDAY & MONDAY
DANGER SCALE
  • mountain icon with elevationsUpper Elevations: MODERATE danger
  • Mid Elevations: MODERATE danger
  • Below treeline: LOW danger

 

 

DANGER TREND:   The danger is generally decreasing with time, while it remains steady in areas loaded by the northeast wind.

AVALANCHE PROBLEM:

 Wind-Slab iconWind Slab Avalanches - New low density snow and previous storm snow will continue to be moved by strong northeast winds and build fresh layers of windslab.

loose_snow_icon

Loose Snow Avalanches - Keep in mind the potential for dry loose sluffs from loaded terrain features, especially in steep terrain traps.

 

 

List of Avalanche Problems <here>

TRAVEL ADVISORY:       Despite upcoming beautiful, clear days, stay in tune with your snow analysis. Look out for fresh wind slab that hasn’t had time to bond to the new snow below it. Firm, hollow surfaces and cracking are signs of instability. These have potential to propagate large distances and catch you off guard. If venturing into steeper confined terrain, consider loose sluffs and the consequences if they throw you off balance.

AVALANCHE ACTIVITY:     

  • January 25 – 28: Windslab avalanches to size D2 were naturally triggered by continued northeast wind in the mid-upper elevations.  Mileposts 25 and 30 at the Pass, off 27 Mile Peak, Catcher’s Mitt, the north side of Goodwills, and Python.
  • A number of storm slab releases to size 2.5 from the January 22-25 storm; notable fracture lines were seen on Sapphire, Tone’s, Cracked Ice, and in the Tsaina Valley.

Avalanche sizing using the destructive scale <here>

Avalanche size estimation aid <here>.

SNOWPACK DISCUSSION:  Another 6-8 inches of low density snow fell on top of last weekends two feet of storm snow from January 22-25. Above 3500 feet there are places with four feet of new snow. While this snow settles and bonds, note the weak density change within the new snow that is buried one to two feet from the surface. This weakness is gaining strength, but still showing failure in tests, particularly further inland.

Also, the last few clear days allowed for the growth of some surface hoar that was preserved in wind protected areas. Investigate if this weak layer was bured in tact below new snow and wind slab in your area.

The deeply buried early season crusts and faceted sugar snow are still easily identifiable and collapse in testing, however, they too are gaining strength over time.

Check out the detailed observations <here>.

WEATHER:      A high pressure ridge with strong northeast wind has held off a weak low pressure front, but still brought us a decent amount of dry, low density snow. Clouds will begin to break today while beautiful and clear three days await us. Expect temperatures in teens in the maritime and single digits up on Thompson Pass. Ridgetop wind will be moderate to strong from the northeast.

Use links below to follow the up and coming weather.

SNOW HISTORY:
Valdez – 1/30 AM
Thompson Pass – 1/29  AM
 Current Snow Depth  34″  53″
24 Hour Snow / Water Equiv. 5.3″ / 0.3″
5 / 0.3″
Storm Snow / Water: 1/29-30 5.3″ / 0.3″ 5″ / 0.3″
January Snow / Water Equiv. 35.3″ / 3.9″ 55″ / 5″
Total Winter Snowfall / Water Equiv.
76.3″ / 10.5″ 205″ / 26″
Snowload in Valdez 43.4 lbs / square foot
SNOW DEPTH  January 28, 2015 Depth Snow Water Equivalent
Milepost 2.5 Valdez  31″  7.1″
Milepost 18 36″
7.4″
Milepost 29 Worthington Flats 54″ 11.6″
Milepost 37 Tsaina River bridge 40″ 5.9″
 AVALANCHE FORECASTER CONFIDENCE:   Good overall, while confidence is Fair further north of Thompson Pass in the continental/interior climate zone where few observations have been reported.

Weather Quicklinks:

  • NWS forecast for Northeast Prince William Sound <here>
  • NOAA NWS spot forecast for Thompson Pass <here>
  • Valdez Glacier UAF weather station at 6600 feet <data here> <map here>.
  • Thompson Pass weather <here>.
  • Further weather resources <here>

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).
Elevations:
  • Upper Elevations: Alpine – Above 2,000 feet
  • Mid Elevations: Treeline ~ 2,000 feet
  • Lower Elevations: Below treeline – Below 2,000 feet

 

Run map of some of the forecast area <here>

NEWS: 

  • Develop snow analysis skills at the Avalanche Level 2 March 6-9, 2015.
  • Our region is “one of the snowiest places on earth” says the recent weather detective climatologist investigation into the Serendipity / Rendezvous snowfall record set in 1963 <here>.

Free smart phone avalanche forecasts at: http://www.avalancheforecasts.com/

This forecast expires after 24 hours

January 29-February 1

THURSDAY FRIDAY SATURDAY & SUNDAY
DANGER SCALE
  • mountain icon with elevationsUpper Elevations: MODERATE danger
  • Mid Elevations: MODERATE danger
  • Below treeline: LOW danger

 

 

DANGER TREND:   Danger is generally decreasing. In areas where the northeast wind is still moving snow, danger is steady.

AVALANCHE PROBLEM:

 Wind-Slab iconWind Slab Avalanches - strong northeast winds continue to move snow and build fresh layers of windslab

 

 

List of Avalanche Problems <here>

TRAVEL ADVISORY:       The best snow is in wind protected areas.

If the snow gets more dense, or begins to crack, you’ll probably getting onto windslab. Isolated pockets of windslab could be human-triggered – avoid areas where the windslab is continuous across large areas. Hard windslab is usually triggered on the edges, then can propagate quite far. Imagine chunks the size of refrigerators ping-ponging down the slope, if you’re caught in windslab, trauma is very possible.

AVALANCHE ACTIVITY:     

  • January 25 – 28: Windslab avalanches to size D2 were naturally triggered by continued northeast wind in the mid-upper elevations.  Mileposts 25 and 30 at the Pass, off 27 Mile Peak, Catcher’s Mitt, the north side of Goodwills, and Python.
  • A number of storm slab releases to size 2.5 from the January 22-25 storm; notable fracture lines were seen on Sapphire, Tone’s, Cracked Ice, and in the Tsaina Valley.

Avalanche sizing using the destructive scale <here>

Avalanche size estimation aid <here>.

SNOWPACK DISCUSSION:  January 22-25 two feet of storm snow accumulated across our forecast region. Above 3500 feet there are places with four feet of new snow, now settling. During the storm the temperature changed and deposited a weak layer of low density snow buried one to two feet from the surface. Those storm snow weaknesses are gaining strength, but still showing failure in tests, particularly further inland.

The deeply buried early season crusts and faceted sugar snow are still easily identifiable and collapse in testing, however, they too are gaining strength over time.

Check out the detailed observations <here>.

WEATHER:      Clouds have moved in. Temperature will rise into 20s F in Valdez, teens F near Thompson Pass. Light snowfall will begin Thursday, giving us a couple more inches by Friday evening.   Northeast wind continues, stronger at the mountain gaps, as a ridge of high pressure continues to influence northeast Prince William Sound.

Use links below to follow the up and coming weather.

SNOW HISTORY:
Valdez – 1/29 AM
Thompson Pass – 1/29  AM
 Current Snow Depth  31″  51″
24 Hour Snow / Water Equiv. 0″ / 0 ″
trace / 0″
Storm Snow / Water: 1/22-25 20.7″ / 2.8″ 28″ / 2.4″
January Snow / Water Equiv. 30″ / 3.6″ 50″ / 4.7″
Total Winter Snowfall / Water Equiv.
71″ / 10.2″ 200″ / 21″
Snowload in Valdez 43.4 lbs / square foot
SNOW DEPTH  January 28, 2015 Depth Snow Water Equivalent
Milepost 2.5 Valdez  31″  7.1″
Milepost 18 36″
7.4″
Milepost 29 Worthington Flats 54″ 11.6″
Milepost 37 Tsaina River bridge 40″ 5.9″
 AVALANCHE FORECASTER CONFIDENCE:   Good. Fair north of Thompson Pass, particularly the continental snow climate zone where few observations have been reported.

Weather Quicklinks:

  • NWS forecast for Northeast Prince William Sound <here>
  • NOAA NWS spot forecast for Thompson Pass <here>
  • Valdez Glacier UAF weather station at 6600 feet <data here> <map here>.
  • Thompson Pass weather <here>.
  • Further weather resources <here>

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).
Elevations:
  • Upper Elevations: Alpine – Above 2,000 feet
  • Mid Elevations: Treeline ~ 2,000 feet
  • Lower Elevations: Below treeline – Below 2,000 feet

 

Run map of some of the forecast area <here>

NEWS: 

  • Develop snow analysis skills at the Avalanche Level 2 March 6-9, 2015.
  • Our region is “one of the snowiest places on earth” says the recent weather detective climatologist investigation into the Serendipity / Rendezvous snowfall record set in 1963 <here>.

Free smart phone avalanche forecasts at: http://www.avalancheforecasts.com/

This forecast expires after 24 hours

Wednesday through Saturday, January 28-31, 2015

WEDNesday THURsday FRIday & SATURday
DANGER SCALE
  • mountain icon with elevationsUpper Elevations: CONSIDERABLE danger decreasing to Moderate danger this weekend
  • Mid Elevations: Moderate danger
  • Below treeline: Moderate danger

 

DANGER TREND:   The avalanche danger remains in terrain exposed to strong northerly outflow winds scouring windward slopes and depositing windslabs on lee slopes.

AVALANCHE PROBLEM:

 Wind-Slab iconWind Slab Avalanches - where strong winds continue to load lee slopes.

 

 

List of Avalanche Problems <here>

TRAVEL ADVISORY:       Travel carefully over windslab. Recognize hard slab which can propagate widely. Considering the brutal wind chill, who’d want to travel in wind exposed terrain anyway? Control pent up demand for the goods. Both natural and, especially, human triggered avalanches are still expected this weekend in localized areas with specific terrain features.

AVALANCHE ACTIVITY:     

  • Sunday and Monday, January 25 & 26: Natural windslab releases to size 2 with moderate to strong outflow north winds between Mileposts 25 and 30 at the Pass, off 27 Mile Peak, Catcher’s Mitt, the north side of Goodwills, and Python.
  • A number of storm slab releases to size 2.5 from the Saturday January 24 storm.

Avalanche sizing using the destructive scale <here>

Avalanche size estimation aid <here>.

SNOWPACK DISCUSSION:       Last weekend two feet of storm snow accumulated at Thompson Pass. Above 3500 feet there are places with four feet of new snow. During the storm the temperature changed and deposited a weak layer of low density snow buried one to two feet from the surface. Those storm snow weaknesses are gaining strength.

The deeply buried early season crusts and faceted sugar snow are still easily identifiable. However, they too are gaining strength.

Check out the detailed observations <here>.

WEATHER:         Windchill to continue, abating slightly with the increasing cloud cover. A few inches of snow may accumulate Thursday and Friday. Expect cool, clear, beautiful weather through the weekend.

Use links below to follow the up and coming weather.

SNOW HISTORY:
Valdez – 1/29 AM
Thompson Pass – 1/29  AM
 Current Snow Depth  31″  51″
24 Hour Snow / Water Equiv. 0″ / 0 ″
0″ / 0″
Storm Snow / Water: 1/22-25 20.7″ / 2.8″ 28″ / 2.4″
January Snow / Water Equiv. 30″ / 3.6″ 50″ / 4.7″
Total Winter Snowfall / Water Equiv.
71″ / 10.2″ 200″ / 21″
Snowload in Valdez 43.4 lbs / square foot
SNOW DEPTH  January 28, 2015 Depth Snow Water Equivalent
Milepost 2.5 Valdez  ~  ~
Milepost 18 36″
7.4″
Milepost 29 Worthington Flats 54″ 11.6″
Milepost 37 Tsaina River bridge 40″ 5.9″
 AVALANCHE FORECASTER CONFIDENCE:   Good. Fair north of Thompson Pass, particularly the continental snow climate zone where few observations have been reported.

Weather Quicklinks:

  • NWS forecast for Northeast Prince William Sound <here>
  • NOAA NWS spot forecast for Thompson Pass <here>
  • Valdez Glacier UAF weather station at 6600 feet <data here> <map here>.
  • Thompson Pass weather <here>.
  • Further weather resources <here>

Our region is “one of the snowiest places on earth” says the recent weather detective climatologist investigation into the Serendipity / Rendezvous snowfall record set in 1963 <here>.

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).
Elevations:
  • Upper Elevations: Alpine – Above 2,000 feet
  • Mid Elevations: Treeline ~ 2,000 feet
  • Lower Elevations: Below treeline – Below 2,000 feet

 

NEWS: 

Free smart phone avalanche forecasts at: http://www.avalancheforecasts.com/

This forecast expires after 24 hours

January 27-30, 2015

Tuesday Wednesday Thursday & Friday
DANGER SCALE
  • mountain icon with elevationsUpper Elevations: CONSIDERABLE danger due to storm snow and Northeast wind transport
  • Mid Elevations: CONSIDERABLE danger
  • Below treeline: CONSIDERABLE danger in the run-out of large avalanche paths with start zones above 2000′

 

DANGER TREND:   The avalanche danger will remain steady with moderate to strong Northeast winds building fresh wind slab. The danger will decrease when the winds abate.

AVALANCHE PROBLEMS:

Wind Slab Avalanches - Wind from the Northeast is currently loading S and SW slopes with two feet of unconsolidated powder available for transport.  Watch for new loading along with older wind slabs that were build on Sunday with onshore Southeast winds.

Storm Snow Avalanches - New storm snow is settling.  Due to the large amount of snow accumulated and the cold temps slowing down the settling process, stay alert for storm slab and sluffs in steeper terrain.

List of Avalanche Problems <here>

TRAVEL ADVISORY:       Terrain selection is key with our current snow conditions.  Avoid steep rollovers and wind loaded slopes and pockets.  Think about cross loading (areas collecting wind transported snow blowing across the slope usually into gullies and other lower features).  Also try to avoid being at the base of steep slopes, especially those that have been freshly wind loaded.

AVALANCHE ACTIVITY:     

  • Monday, Jan 26: Natural windslab releases to size 2 with moderate to strong outflow north winds between Mileposts 27 and 30 off 27 Mile Peak, Catcher’s Mitt, the north side of Goodwills, and Python.
  • Sunday, Jan 25: A natural, 2 foot thick soft slab was witnessed and ran 100 feet at the convexity above alders of Lower Cracked Ice, MP 32. Steep roadcuts at MP 30 have slid full new snow thickness down to the most recent crust, likely triggered by DOT snow removal from below.
  • Saturday, Jan 24: DOT crews shot Snowslide Gulch after dark. Avalanche debris ran to the edge of the Damalanche remains.
  • Friday, Jan 23: a steep, northwest facing slope above MP 35 may have had a deep fracture line at about 4200′ – visibility did not allow confirmation.
  • January 20-21: Slopes lee to North wind were sensitive to human trigger .

Avalanche sizing using the destructive scale <here>

Avalanche size estimation aid <here>.

SNOWPACK DISCUSSION:        Over two feet of snow fell with the last storm leaving us with clear skies and deep powder on Monday.  This snow will be aggressively transported during the next couple of days with the forecasted NE winds.

The last storm started on January 22nd, peaking on the 24th.  The January 19th crust was observed to be a bed surface for fresh storm slab.  Density changes in the storm snow along with wind slab, light snow, wind slab sandwiches were also likely culprits to activity during the storm.

Reactive storm snow was observed on Sunday. The snow appeared to be less reactive on Monday as the storm snow settles. Tests have shown hard results with little propagation in density changes within the new snow affected by wind (wind slab light snow wind slab sandwich).  Previous tests showed moderate results at the new snow/crust interface with limited propagation due to the storm snow still being fairly unconsolidated. Deeper down, weak sugar snow still exists between early season crusts. In areas, these layers have been failing and propagating in tests despite slowly strengthening. The sugar snow is larger and weaker as you travel more inland and higher in elevation where temperatures generally have been colder. See recently shared observations for more details. Monitor and mind the building of new wind slabs on top of this soft snow. Snow transport by Northeast wind began Sunday and will continue while so much new snow is available to move.

Below is a quick summary of what the snowpack looked like prior to this storm:

  • Below Treeline: Snowpack height was 2 feet or less. A hodge podge of crusts and facets with storm snow on top. Alders were still upright and preventing easy travel.
  • Treeline: Almost all of our storms this winter have been warm and wet. The freezing line has averaged somewhere between 2000-3000′. This means the snowpack depth dramatically increases above treeline, though the coverage is uneven due to significant outflow Northerly and onshore Southerly wind.
  • Above Treeline: Average snowpack height over our region at 2500′ was ~3-4 feet. This is well below what most backcountry travelers are used to; rocks and glacial crevasses were still showing through before this storm.

Check out the detailed observations <here>.

WEATHER:   Days should be partly cloudy with a light dusting of snow Tuesday and Wednesday.  Prepare for cold temperatures (into the negative teens) and moderate to strong winds. Expect bitter windchill. A couple inches of snow is in the forecast for Thursday and into Friday.

Use links below to follow the up and coming weather.

SNOW HISTORY:
Valdez – 1/27 AM
Thompson Pass – 1/27 AM
 Current Snow Depth  35″  54″
24 Hour Snow / Water Equiv. 2″ / 0.17 ″
0″ / 0″
Storm Snow / Water: 1/22-25 20.7″ / 2.8″ 28″ / 2.4″
January Snow / Water Equiv. 30″ / 3.6″ 50″ / 4.7″
Total Winter Snowfall / Water Equiv.
71″ / 10.2″ 200″ / 21″
Snowload in Valdez 43.4 lbs / square foot
SNOW DEPTH  January 5, 2015 Depth Snow Water Equivalent
Milepost 2.5 Valdez  17″  3.1″
Milepost 18 24″
4.5″
Milepost 29 Worthington Flats 37″ 8.7″
Milepost 37 Tsaina River bridge 24″ 5.8″
 AVALANCHE FORECASTER CONFIDENCE:   Good

Weather Quicklinks:

  • NWS forecast for Northeast Prince William Sound <here>
  • NOAA NWS spot forecast for Thompson Pass <here>
  • Valdez Glacier UAF weather station at 6600 feet <data here> <map here>.
  • Thompson Pass weather <here>.
  • Further weather resources <here>

Our region is “one of the snowiest places on earth” says the recent weather detective climatologist investigation into the Serendipity / Rendezvous snowfall record set in 1963 <here>.

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).
Elevations:
  • Upper Elevations: Alpine – Above 2,000 feet
  • Mid Elevations: Treeline ~ 2,000 feet
  • Lower Elevations: Below treeline – Below 2,000 feet

 

NEWS: 

Free smart phone avalanche forecasts at: http://www.avalancheforecasts.com/

This forecast expires after 24 hours

January 26-29, 2015

MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY
DANGER SCALE
  • mountain icon with elevationsUpper Elevations: CONSIDERABLE danger due to storm snow and Northeast wind transport
  • Mid Elevations: CONSIDERABLE danger
  • Below treeline: CONSIDERABLE danger in the run-out of large avalanche paths with start zones above 2000′

 

DANGER TREND:   The avalanche danger will decrease as the new storm snow bonds to old surfaces, then remain steady as strong Northeast winds build new wind slabs on soft storm snow.

AVALANCHE PROBLEMS:

Wind Slab Avalanches - Moderate to strong Northeast wind replaced the onshore, Southeast flow Sunday. With over 2 feet of soft, unconsolidated snow available for transport, drifting and lee aspect loading has been dramatic.

Storm Snow Avalanches - New snow loads require time to settle and stick. Recent avalanche activity has shown that new soft slabs are releasing full thickness down to the most recent crust in steep terrain.

List of Avalanche Problems <here>

 

TRAVEL ADVISORY:  Remember, most avalanche activity occurs during or just after a storm. Your desire to access all this new snow will be strong, but do so conservatively:

  • Consider the possibility of triggering avalanches from below.
  • Give the new snow time to stabilize, avoiding actively windloading areas.
  • Steer clear of consequential large faces.
  • Convex rollovers are where most human triggered avalanches are triggered.

AVALANCHE ACTIVITY:  Poor visibility has not allowed for observation of upper elevations during the storm;  look around today as skies clear. 

  • Monday, Jan 26: Natural windslab releases to size 2 with moderate to strong outflow north winds at Milepost 27 off 27 Mile Peak and Catcher’s Mitt.
  • Sunday, Jan 25: A natural, 2 foot thick soft slab was witnessed and ran 100 feet at the convexity above alders of Lower Cracked Ice, MP 32. Steep roadcuts at MP 30 have slid full new snow thickness down to the most recent crust, likely triggered by DOT snow removal from below.
  • Saturday, Jan 24: DOT crews shot Snowslide Gulch after dark. Avalanche debris ran to the edge of the Damalanche remains.
  • Friday, Jan 23: a steep, northwest facing slope above MP 35 may have had a deep fracture line at about 4200′ – visibility did not allow confirmation.
  • January 20-21: Slopes lee to North wind were sensitive to human trigger .

Avalanche sizing using the destructive scale <here>

Avalanche size estimation aid <here>.

SNOWPACK DISCUSSION:  This significant storm has nearly doubled the snowpack in town and filled in the alders and terrain features on Thompson Pass with over 2 feet of new snow. This large, new load started January 22 and increased in intensity in January 24. Storm slab avalanches are running on the Jan 19 crust.

Recent tests have had moderate results at the new snow/crust interface with limited propagation due to the storm snow still being fairly unconsolidated. Deeper down, weak sugar snow still exists between early season crusts. These layers have been failing and propagating in tests despite slowly strengthening. The sugar snow is larger and weaker as you travel more inland and higher in elevation where temperatures generally have been colder. See recently shared observations for more details. Monitor and mind the building of new wind slabs on top of this soft snow. Snow transport by Northeast wind began Sunday and will continue while so much new snow is available to move.

Below is a quick summary of what the snowpack looked like prior to this storm:

  • Below Treeline: Snowpack height was 2 feet or less. A hodge podge of crusts and facets with storm snow on top. Alders were still upright and preventing easy travel.
  • Treeline: Almost all of our storms this winter have been warm and wet. The freezing line has averaged somewhere between 2000-3000′. This means the snowpack depth dramatically increases above treeline, though the coverage is uneven due to significant outflow Northerly and onshore Southerly wind.
  • Above Treeline: Average snowpack height over our region at 2500′ was ~3-4 feet. This is well below what most backcountry travelers are used to; rocks and glacial crevasses were still showing through before this storm.

Check out the detailed observations <here>.

WEATHER:   Skies have cleared and temperatures dropped since the storm finally let up Sunday night after leaving us with over 2 feet of new snow. Through Wednesday, expect mostly clear days with temperatures in the teens in the maritime and just above 0 deg F on Thompson Pass.  Moderate to strong Northeast wind will dominate the upper ridge lines and the Thompson pass gap. Clouds could build Wednesday night and bring a couple of inches of snow by Friday morning.

Use links below to follow the up and coming weather.

SNOW HISTORY:
Valdez – 1/26 AM
Thompson Pass – 1/26 AM
 Current Snow Depth  35″  55″
24 Hour Snow / Water Equiv. 2″ / 0.17 ″
2″ / 0.1″
Storm Snow / Water: 1/22-25 20.7″ / 2.8″ 28″ / 2.4″
January Snow / Water Equiv. 30″ / 3.6″ 50″ / 4.7″
Total Winter Snowfall / Water Equiv.
71″ / 10.2″ 200″ / 21″
Snowload in Valdez 43.4 lbs / square foot
SNOW DEPTH  January 5, 2015 Depth Snow Water Equivalent
Milepost 2.5 Valdez  17″  3.1″
Milepost 18 24″
4.5″
Milepost 29 Worthington Flats 37″ 8.7″
Milepost 37 Tsaina River bridge 24″ 5.8″
 AVALANCHE FORECASTER CONFIDENCE:   Good

Weather Quicklinks:

  • NWS forecast for Northeast Prince William Sound <here>
  • NOAA NWS spot forecast for Thompson Pass <here>
  • Valdez Glacier UAF weather station at 6600 feet <data here> <map here>.
  • Thompson Pass weather <here>.
  • Further weather resources <here>

Our region is “one of the snowiest places on earth” says the recent weather detective climatologist investigation into the Serendipity / Rendezvous snowfall record set in 1963 <here>.

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).
Elevations:
  • Upper Elevations: Alpine – Above 2,000 feet
  • Mid Elevations: Treeline ~ 2,000 feet
  • Lower Elevations: Below treeline – Below 2,000 feet

 

NEWS: 

  • Companion Rescue Class. Sunday, January 25. 12pm-4pm. Register <here>. Valdez Elks Lodge. Call 255.2242 for more info.
  • Develop snow analysis skills at the Avalanche Level 2 March 6-9, 2015.

Free smart phone avalanche forecasts at: http://www.avalancheforecasts.com/

This forecast expires after 24 hours

January 25-28, 2015

SUNDAY MONDAY TUESDAY & WEDNESDAY
DANGER SCALE
  • mountain icon with elevationsUpper Elevations: CONSIDERABLE danger due to storm snow and Northeast wind transport
  • Mid Elevations: CONSIDERABLE danger
  • Below treeline: CONSIDERABLE danger in the run-out of large avalanche paths with start zones above 2000′

 

DANGER TREND:   The avalanche danger is decreasing as the new storm snow bonds to old surfaces.

AVALANCHE PROBLEMS:

Storm-Snow

Storm Snow Avalanches - Recent heavy snow loading stresses deeper layers in the snowpack, but requires time to settle and stick to its surroundings.

Wind Slab Avalanches - Moving the new 20 inches of storm snow, moderate to strong Northeast wind will build fresh windslab. During the storm Southeast and West wind loaded varying lee slopes. Also look out for firm slabs that formed prior to the storm from strong Northeast wind.

List of Avalanche Problems <here>

TRAVEL ADVISORY:  Remember, most avalanche activity occurs during or just after a storm. Your urge to access all this new snow will be strong, but do so conservatively Sunday. Give the new snow time to stabilize and avoid actively windloading areas. Steer clear of consequential large faces. Convex rollovers are where most human triggered avalanches are triggered.

AVALANCHE ACTIVITY:  Poor visibility did not allow much observation of upper elevations during the storm, but look around today as skies clear. 

DOT crews shot Snowslide Gulch after dark January 24. Avalanches were heard but not seen.

Friday, Jan 23, a steep, northwest facing slope above MP 35 may have had a deep fracture line at about 4200′ – visibility did not allow confirmation.

January 20-21: Slopes lee to North wind were sensitive to human trigger . 

Avalanche sizing using the destructive scale <here>

Avalanche size estimation aid <here>.

SNOWPACK DISCUSSION:  This significant storm has nearly doubled the snowpack in town and further filled in the alders and terrain features on Thompson Pass. This large, new load started January 22 and increased in intensity in the last 24 hours. The most recent Jan 19 rain crust was showing some sensitivity on Friday, Jan 23 above Milepost 35, but not propagating. Deeper down, weak sugar snow still exists between early season crusts. These layers have been failing in tests despite slowly strengthening. The sugar snow is larger and weaker as you travel more inland and higher in elevation where temperatures generally have been colder.

Below is a quick summary of what the snowpack looked like prior to this storm:

  • Below Treeline: Snowpack height was 2 feet or less. A hodge podge of crusts and facets with storm snow on top. Alders were still upright and preventing easy travel.
  • Treeline: Almost all of our storms this winter have been warm and wet. The freezing line has averaged somewhere between 2000-3000′. This means the snowpack depth dramatically increases above treeline, though the coverage is uneven due to significant outflow Northerly and onshore Southerly wind.
  • Above Treeline: Average snowpack height over our region at 2500′ was ~3-4 feet. This is well below what most backcountry travelers are used to; rocks and glacial crevasses were still showing through before this storm.

Check out the detailed observations <here>.

WEATHER:   As precipitation stops and clouds start to break, expect temperatures to drop dramatically – below zero fahrenheit by Monday with cold, clear days after. Moderate to strong Northeast wind is forecast in exposed areas through Tuesday. Some light flurries may return with clouds by Thursday morning.

Use links below to follow the up and coming weather.

SNOW HISTORY:
Valdez – 1/25 PM
Thompson Pass – 1/25 AM
 Current Snow Depth  35″  54″
24 Hour Snow / Water Equiv. 16.8″ / 2.2 ″
12″ / 1″
Storm Snow / Water: 1/22-25 24.2″ / 3.1″ 26″ / 2.3″
January Snow / Water Equiv. 24.8″ / 3.2″ 49″ / 3.4″
Total Winter Snowfall / Water Equiv.
65.8″ / 13.1″ 199″ / 20.7″
Snowload in Valdez 43.4 lbs / square foot
SNOW DEPTH  January 5, 2015 Depth Snow Water Equivalent
Milepost 2.5 Valdez  17″  3.1″
Milepost 18 24″
4.5″
Milepost 29 Worthington Flats 37″ 8.7″
Milepost 37 Tsaina River bridge 24″ 5.8″
 AVALANCHE FORECASTER CONFIDENCE:   Good

Weather Quicklinks:

  • NWS forecast for Northeast Prince William Sound <here>
  • NOAA NWS spot forecast for Thompson Pass <here>
  • Valdez Glacier UAF weather station at 6600 feet <data here> <map here>.
  • Thompson Pass weather <here>.
  • Further weather resources <here>

Our region is “one of the snowiest places on earth” says the recent weather detective climatologist investigation into the Serendipity / Rendezvous snowfall record set in 1963 <here>.

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).
Elevations:
  • Upper Elevations: Alpine – Above 2,000 feet
  • Mid Elevations: Treeline ~ 2,000 feet
  • Lower Elevations: Below treeline – Below 2,000 feet

 

NEWS: 

  • Companion Rescue Class. Sunday, January 25. 12pm-4pm. Register <here>. Valdez Elks Lodge. Call 255.2242 for more info.
  • Develop snow analysis skills at the Avalanche Level 2 March 6-9, 2015.

Free smart phone avalanche forecasts at: http://www.avalancheforecasts.com/

This forecast expires after 24 hours

January 24-27, 2015

SATURday SUNday MONday & TUESday
high icon
DANGER SCALE
  • mountain icon with elevationsUpper Elevations: HIGH danger due to storm loading
  • Mid Elevations: HIGH danger
  • Below treeline: HIGH danger in the run-out of large avalanche paths with start zones above 2000′

DANGER TREND:   The avalanche danger is increasing with added storm load. Once the storm has peaked and precipitation stops, danger will decrease.

AVALANCHE PROBLEMS:

Storm-Snow

Storm Snow Avalanches - Heavy snowfall with warm temperatures will produce avalanche activity – natural and human-triggered.

Wind Slab Avalanches - Gusty west wind Saturday morning may have placed wind load in surprising locations. Pre-storm, north wind built deep pockets of hard windslab.

 

List of Avalanche Problems <here>

TRAVEL ADVISORY:  Travel in avalanche terrain is not recommended Saturday. Give the snowpack time to adjust to the new weight and stress.

Powder in the flats, well away from run-outs, can be fun.

AVALANCHE ACTIVITY:  Poor visibility has not allowed much observation of upper elevations during the storm. A steep, northwest facing slope above MP 35 may have had a deep fracture line at about 4200′ – visibility did not allow confirmation. Natural avalanches are expected Saturday during the peak of this storm. Slopes lee to North wind were sensitive to human trigger January 20-21. 

Avalanche sizing using the destructive scale <here>

Avalanche size estimation aid <here>.

SNOWPACK DISCUSSION:  Our season might be turning around. As of 7am January 24, this storm had delivered 14 inches snow with over an inch of water equivalent to Thompson Pass.

Summary of what the snowpack looked like pre-storm:

  • Below Treeline: Snowpack height was 2 feet or less. A hodge podge of crusts and facets with storm snow on top. Alders were still upright and preventing easy travel.
  • Treeline: Almost all of our storms this winter have been warm and wet. The freezing line has averaged somewhere between 2000-3000′. This means the snowpack depth dramatically increases above treeline, though the coverage is uneven due to significant outflow Northerly and onshore Southerly wind.
  • Above Treeline: Average snowpack height over our region at 2500′ was ~3-4 feet. This is well below what most backcountry travelers are used to; rocks and glacial crevasses were still showing through before this storm.

Friday, January 23 above MP 35, the 1 foot of unconsolidated storm snow was breaking above the last rain crust formed January 19. Snow height at 2800′ on a west facing moraine slope was 3ft. The deeper early season weakness that we’ve been tracking, buried 2+ feet, still collapses in tests, but did not seem as reactive as previously.

Check out the detailed observations <here>.

WEATHER:   Mixed rain and snow will continue in town through Sunday, heavy at times.
Storm accumulations are expected to add up to more than 3″ of water equivalent, >36″ snow at Thompson Pass. Variable wind, mostly southerly – gusting Saturday to 25mph. Temperatures will drop dramatically as soon as the precipitation stops.

Use links below to follow the up and coming weather.

SNOW HISTORY:
Valdez – 1/24 AM
Thompson Pass – 1/24 PM
 Current Snow Depth  19″  52″
24 Hour Snow / Water Equiv. 0.8″ / 0.3 ″
7″ / 0.6″
Storm Snow / Water: 1/22-24 7.4″ / 0.9″ 20″ / 1.8″
January Snow / Water Equiv. 8″ / 1″ 37″ / 3.4″
Total Winter Snowfall / Water Equiv.
49″ / 10.9″ 187″ / 19.7″
Snowload in Valdez 24.3 lbs / square foot
SNOW DEPTH  January 5, 2015 Depth Snow Water Equivalent
Milepost 2.5 Valdez  17″  3.1″
Milepost 18 24″
4.5″
Milepost 29 Worthington Flats 37″ 8.7″
Milepost 37 Tsaina River bridge 24″ 5.8″
 AVALANCHE FORECASTER CONFIDENCE:   Good

Weather Quicklinks:

  • NWS forecast for Northeast Prince William Sound <here>
  • NOAA NWS spot forecast for Thompson Pass <here>
  • Valdez Glacier UAF weather station at 6600 feet <data here> <map here>.
  • Thompson Pass weather <here>.
  • Further weather resources <here>

Our region is “one of the snowiest places on earth” says the recent weather detective climatologist investigation into the Serendipity / Rendezvous snowfall record set in 1963 <here>.

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).
Elevations:
  • Upper Elevations: Alpine – Above 2,000 feet
  • Mid Elevations: Treeline ~ 2,000 feet
  • Lower Elevations: Below treeline – Below 2,000 feet

 

NEWS: 

  • Companion Rescue Class. Sunday, January 25. 12pm-4pm. Register <here>. Valdez Elks Lodge. Call 255.2242 for more info.
  • Develop snow analysis skills at the Avalanche Level 2 March 6-9, 2015.

Free smart phone avalanche forecasts at: http://www.avalancheforecasts.com/

This forecast expires after 24 hours

Friday-Monday January 23-26, 2015

FRIday SATURday SUNday & MONday
high icon high icon
DANGER SCALE
  • mountain icon with elevationsUpper Elevations: CONSIDERABLE danger increasing to HIGH
  • Mid Elevations: CONSIDERABLE danger increasing to HIGH
  • Below treeline: CONSIDERABLE danger increasing to HIGH in the run-out of large avalanche paths with start zones above 2000′ elevation

DANGER TREND:   The avalanche danger is increasing with added storm load. Once the storm has peaked and precipitation stops, danger will decrease. (The decrease in danger will be slower further inland.)

AVALANCHE PROBLEMS:

Storm-Snow

Storm Snow Avalanches - Over the weekend, heavy snowfall with rising temperatures will produce avalanche activity – natural and human-triggered.

Wind Slab Avalanches - Strong North winds January 18-21 loaded South and South West slopes and crossloaded West facing gully walls.

 

List of Avalanche Problems <here>

TRAVEL ADVISORY:  If you are planning to explore the backcountry this weekend, choose conservative terrain. Use small test slopes to get a handle on the storm slab depth and sensitivity. Look at potential consequence if the snow does move – where will you end up? Choose alternatives that avoid slopes with terrain traps such as cliffs, cheese grater rocks, and steep-to-flat transitions.

Avoid features that were loaded by the North wind before the storm – windslab failing under storm slab could produce the larger avalanches we see in this cycle.

AVALANCHE ACTIVITY:   Steep slopes lee to North wind were sensitive to human trigger January 20-21. Limited visibility has not allowed upper elevations to be observed since. Expect natural avalanches Saturday during the peak of this storm.

Avalanche sizing using the destructive scale <here>

Avalanche size estimation aid <here>.

SNOWPACK DISCUSSION:  Our season is shaping up. This storm will add significant weight and warmth to what is on the ground thus far. To summarize:

  • Below Treeline: Snowpack height is 2 feet or less. A hodge podge of crusts and facets with storm snow on top. Alders are still upright and preventing easy travel.
  • Treeline: Most of our storms this winter have been warm and wet. The freezing line has averaged somewhere between 2000-3000′. This means the snowpack depth dramatically increases above treeline, though the coverage is uneven due to significant outflow Northerly and onshore Southerly wind.
  • Above Treeline: Average snowpack height over our region at 2500′ is 3-4 feet. This is well below what most backcountry travelers are used to; rocks and glacial crevasses were still showing through before this storm. We still had persistent weaknesses collapsing in lower layers as recently as January 16.

How does this affect our backcountry decisions – think “early season” even though it is January. We need a few more storms to give us the padding and stability that is commonly encountered in our part of the Chugach. Until then, careful snowpack evaluation and cautious route-finding will help you LIVE TO RIDE ANOTHER DAY.

Check out the detailed observations <here>.

WEATHER:   Mixed rain and snow will continue in town through Sunday, heavy at times.
Storm accumulations are expected to add up to ~2″ of water equivalent, ~18″ snow at Thompson Pass. Freezing level could be as high as 3000′ Friday-Saturday. Calm to light south wind, stronger near ridgelines.

Use links below to follow the up and coming weather.

SNOW HISTORY:
Valdez – 1/23 AM
Thompson Pass – 1/23 AM
 Current Snow Depth  19″  42″
24 Hour Snow / Water Equiv. 6.6″ / 0.6 ″
7″ / 0.5″
Storm Snow / Water: 1/22-23 6.6″ / 0.6″ 7″ / 0.5″
January Snow / Water Equiv. 7.2 / 0.7″ 30″ / 2.8″
Total Winter Snowfall / Water Equiv.
48.2″ / 10.6″ 180″ / 19.1″
Snowload in Valdez 20 lbs / square foot
SNOW DEPTH  January 5, 2015 Depth Snow Water Equivalent
Milepost 2.5 Valdez  17″  3.1″
Milepost 18 24″
4.5″
Milepost 29 Worthington Flats 37″ 8.7″
Milepost 37 Tsaina River bridge 24″ 5.8″
 AVALANCHE FORECASTER CONFIDENCE:   Fair

Weather Quicklinks:

  • NWS forecast for Northeast Prince William Sound <here>
  • NOAA NWS spot forecast for Thompson Pass <here>
  • Valdez Glacier UAF weather station at 6600 feet <data here> <map here>.
  • Thompson Pass weather <here>.
  • Further weather resources <here>

Our region is “one of the snowiest places on earth” says the recent weather detective climatologist investigation into the Serendipity / Rendezvous snowfall record set in 1963 <here>.

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).
Elevations:
  • Upper Elevations: Alpine – Above 2,000 feet
  • Mid Elevations: Treeline ~ 2,000 feet
  • Lower Elevations: Below treeline – Below 2,000 feet

 

NEWS:

Develop snow analysis skills at the Avalanche Level 2 March 6-9, 2015.

Free smart phone avalanche forecasts at: http://www.avalancheforecasts.com/

This forecast expires after 24 hours