NW Avalanche Center Weather Station Relocation
The environmental analysis for the installation of a new weather station at Hurricane Ridge, in Olympic National Park has been completed and a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) has been approved.
The Environmental Assessment (EA) was released on January 8, 2009 for public review and comment. The EA analyzed two alternatives: relocate Hurricane Ridge Weather Station to the existing snow stake site (management preferred alternative) and the no action alternative (alternative A). Alternative B is the selected alternative.
The purpose of the Hurricane Ridge Weather Station is to provide specialized mountain weather and avalanche forecasts to allow for safe park operation, winter travel, and recreation at the Hurricane Ridge area of Olympic National Park. Through the site at Hurricane Ridge, NWAC monitors weather, snow cover, and forecasts avalanche conditions to prevent avalanche fatalities and to minimize transportation disruptions to the greatest extent possible.
Although in its current configuration the system provides reliable and relatively representative data on wind speed and direction, precipitation and snow depth data obtained from the system is unreliable and not representative of local snow and rain received at this location. The new weather station will reduce these inaccuracies and provide vital information to emergency managers, meteorologist and avalanche forecasters as well as promote visitor and staff safety.
NWAC is administered by the U.S. Forest Service, but it is cooperatively funded by a variety of federal, state, and private agencies, including the Washington State Department of Transportation, Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, National Weather Service, Pacific Northwest Ski Areas Association, Friends of the Avalanche Center, the NPS, and others.
Park crews plan to install the new weather station in July or August after the snow melts. Work at the site will be completed using a backhoe or small trencher, hand tools, small concrete mixer, and a truck to deliver supplies to the site.
Superintendent, Olympic National Park
Attn: Hurricane Ridge Weather Station
600 East Park Avenue
Port Angeles, WA 98362