|SUNDAY||MONDAY||TUESDAY & WEDNESDAY|
- Upper 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.
List of Avalanche Problems <here>
TRAVEL ADVISORY: Pay particular attention to cross-loaded slopes, especially gullies and terrain traps.
- 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.
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 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.|
- 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).
- 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>
- 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.
This forecast expires after 24 hours