The Valdez Star - Serving Prince William Sound and Copper River Basin

By Lee Revis
Editor, Valdez Star 

Snow is below average for this time of the year but it's still mid-February

Mother Nature might try to catch up during traditional snowy month of March


February 14, 2018

The legendary snows of Valdez are lagging behind what were once typical for the area at this time of year – but there is still plenty of winter weather ahead.

Late Sunday night and early Monday morning’s snow fall dropped 17.5 inches of snow – and it caught many off guard when they awoke to go to work Monday morning.

More importantly, the snowload increased to 45 pounds per square foot according to the Valdez Avalanche Center, which tracks snowfall in Valdez and Thompson Pass for the National Weather Service.

Last year, Valdez ended the snow season with 242 inches – over 20 feet - of snow. As of Tuesday morning, Valdez had yet to break the 100 inch mark.

In 2014, the weather service said the average winter snow fall for January was 168.7 inches. In 2013, the town had 134.4 inches of snow by the end of January and in 2015, Valdez has only received about 71 inches of snow by that time.

In January 2017, the town was also below average, but saw several major snow storms that upped the snow pack considerably.

Much of the snow that is missing can be attributed to heavy rains that fell later last year.

By contrast, Thompson Pass is enjoying a more traditional snowpack – an impressive 315 inches – 26.5 feet – so far this season. This is great news for skiers and back country guides and tour operators, who go full swing – weather permitting – in March.


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