While the mainland western USA stays high and dry, Alaska is getting absolutely pounded by a cold, atmospheric river event that is going from south > north.
So far, Thompson Pass near Valdez is already reporting 6+ feet in spots and the snow is forecasted through the end of the week. When all is snowed and done, Thompson Pass should see another 49″ of pow, which is– kind of a big deal.
“Thompson Pass can expect snow totals of 28-36 inches, with localized amounts up to 45 inches, along with areas of blowing and drifting snow.” – NWS Alaska
The snow is a welcome relief to Alaskan’s who saw record high temps dominate the weather news through November. As of today, the Richardson Highway is closed until further notice after an avalanche swept across the road.
NOAA Forecast | Thompson Pass, AK:
Winter Storm Warning [Thompson Pass]
Northeast Prince William Sound- Including the cities of Valdez and Thompson Pass 330 AM AKST Wed Dec 6 2017
…WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 9 PM AKST THIS EVENING THROUGH THOMPSON PASS…
* WHAT…Heavy snow and blowing snow are occurring. Plan on very difficult travel conditions. Total snow accumulations of 28 to 36 inches, with localized amounts up to 45 inches are expected. Highest amounts are expected near the top of the pass.
* WHERE…Thompson Pass.
* WHEN…Until 9 PM this evening.
* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Winds gusting as high as 30 mph will cause
areas of blowing and drifting snow this morning. Lighter snow is
expected after the timing of this warning. Valdez and lower
elevationd can expect a mix of rain and snow, with some minor
wet snow accumulation.