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Dalton Highway Update 5/20/2016

The road remains in good condition


Published:

Water flows off to the side of the Dalton Highway near Miles 387-388.

ALL PHOTOS © Alaska DOT&PF

 

May 20, 2016 - Note: This will be the last daily Dalton Highway update, unless conditions change significantly or water threatens the roadway.

 

Temperatures along the Dalton Highway south of Deadhorse remain above average, with a high in the upper 40s today. The warming trend is expected to continue for the next several days, with highs in the mid to upper 50s. The forecast calls for rain Saturday and Sunday.

 

River levels generally are down near the highway.

 

The road remains in good condition. Impacts to the road this weekend will depend on the discharge produced by the warmer temperatures and precipitation and whether ice jams form as a result of these factors.

 


Water flows near the Dalton Highway between Miles 402-403.

 


Tundra is seen around Mile 393 Dalton Highway.

 

May 19, 2016

Temperatures along the Dalton Highway are warming up. Today’s high was 46, the forecast low for tonight is 28 degrees. The next few days are forecast to remain in the 40s during the day, with temperatures dropping at night.

Snow, ice and water are still present near the highway, but water levels decreased up to 12 inches since yesterday.

  1. Dalton Mile 397, looking south. Water and ice along the gravel berm, levels have dropped from yesterday.
  2. Dalton Mile 396.7, looking north. Water and ice along the gravel berm.

photo Dalton Highway flooding
photo Dalton Highway flooding
Click images for larger view.

May 18, 2016

Temperatures along the Dalton Highway remain cool. Today’s high was 34, with 30 mph winds, the overnight low is expected to be 23 degrees. Tomorrow, temperatures are forecast to begin warming.

Snow, ice and water are present near the gravel berms, but there has not been a significant change in the water level. The gravel berms continue to hold back the water, no water is on the roadway.

  1. Dalton Mile 397, looking South. Water and Ice along Gravel Berm.
  2. Dalton Mile 396.5, looking North. Water and Ice along Gravel Berm.
  3. Dalton Mile 387, looking northeast at an Alyeska Spur Dike and ice in river.

photo Dalton Highway flooding
photo Dalton Highway flooding
photo Dalton Highway flooding
Click images for larger view.

May 17, 2016

Conditions today were very similar to yesterday; temperatures along the Dalton Highway just south of Deadhorse remain cool, slowing down the melting. The high for the day was 33, with 30 mph winds, the overnight low is expected to be 19 degrees. Temperatures are forecast to rise beginning Thursday, which could lead to another significant round of melting this weekend.

USDA SNOWTEL estimates that approximately 75 percent of the snowpack remains in the upper Sagavanirktok basin, and approximately 50 percent remains in the middle basin. The Sagavanirktok River likely saw its highest water level elevations this past weekend. The river has not yet had peak discharge flow, though, so the potential for water overtopping remains.

Water levels near the gravel berms increased from yesterday, but the berms continue to hold back water from Mile 394-397. No water is on the roadway.

  1. Looking south from the north end of gravel berm, Dalton Highway Mile 397.
  2. Looking south from Spur #3.5, water levels are higher than yesterday, Dalton Highway Mile 395.4.
  3. Looking south, Dalton Highway Mile 394.8.

photo Dalton Highway flooding
photo Dalton Highway flooding
photo Dalton Highway flooding
Click images for larger view.

May 16, 2016

Temperatures along the Dalton Highway just south of Deadhorse remain cool. The area saw scattered snow and a high of 30 today with overnight lows in the lower to mid 20s. The forecast calls for warmer temperatures beginning Thursday, which could lead to another significant round of melting this weekend.

The Sagavanirktok River likely saw its highest water level elevations this past weekend. These elevations are associated with potential water flowing over surface ice in the river channel or from ice jamming. The river has not yet had peak discharge flow, though, so the potential for water overtopping remains.

Berms continue holding back water from Mile 394-397. No water is on the roadway.

The berms continue to hold back water, as seen in this Monday photo
looking north at Mile 394.7. (ADOT&PF photo.)

photo Dalton Highway flooding
Click images for larger view.

May 15, 2016

Recent cooler temperatures just south of Deadhorse have slowed flow in the tundra. The forecast calls for temperatures to remain in the 20s and lower 30s for the next couple days.

A lot of ice has been moving on the Sagavanirktok River. Water elevations are expected to fluctuate for approximately the next week as more snow melting continues from drainages and from the higher elevations along the north face of the Brooks Range.

The highway remains in good shape. Shoulders are soft at Mile 394 but are improving. Water is present against the back of the berms in some areas, but levels are lower. No water is on the roadway.

Photo: Dalton Highway is seen at Mile 392 on Saturday.
The highway remains in good condition. (ADOT&PF photo.)

photo Dalton Highway flooding
Click images for larger view.

May 14, 2016

Temperatures along the Dalton Highway will be in the mid 20s tonight with highs Sunday in the lower 30s, according to the National Weather Service.

Water has gone down along the highway. Ponding at Mile 392 has dissipated and is no longer on the roadway. The berms continue to hold water back successfully.

Photo: Water is seen near Mile 397. Although the water in that area had been
rising Friday night, it subsided Saturday morning. (ADOT&PF photo.)

photo Dalton Highway flooding
Click images for larger view.

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