Avalanche Hazard To Get Real
3-27-16/10am Confirming my previous discussion, the models and NWS forecast are aligned for a sustained and substantial weather event Monday through Wednesday.. Warm, tropical flow and rain will begin today and intensify over the next few days.. Up to 6″ of precip are likely.. Freeze level will rise to 4- 5000′.. Moderate rainfall is expected in Valdez and Thomspson Pass at lower elevations..
Thus the potential for HIGH avalanche hazards will develop related to the unconsolidated and deep snowpack above 3000′.. Moderate rates of precip may not allow the snowpack to slowly settle.. The big issue to how high the freeze level will rise.. The higher, the worse the avalanches will be, though heavy snow at the highest elevation will also exacerbate the issues to come.. When it’s all said and done, we will may find a substantially reduced snowpack depth in Thompson Pass along the roadside.. Drainages and creeks will open in the Pass along with pooling of water on the snowpack.. Cornices and glide cracks will be active.. This warm weather will persist through the week..
Unusual snow pack structure with moderate precip amounts mainly as rain is a big red flag..