Mt. Logan weather today: cold, windy and more snow

The Gulf of Alaska is a cradle for low-pressure systems that bring abundant rain and snowfall to the coastal mountain ranges in British Columbia, southeast Alaska and the southern Yukon. These mountains are typically 2-3 kilometres (6500-10,000 feet) high. When moist air from the Pacific Ocean is blown against this gigantic barrier by westerly winds, it is forced to rise and cools off, giving up its moisture content as rain and snow. In the St. Elias Mountains the bulky Mount Logan massif is like another mountain on top: it rises to nearly 6 km, dominating the surrounding icefields. Its sheer size and height results in different weather conditions at the bottom and top. On a summer afternoon the air temperature on the Seward Glacier (elevation ~2000 m) may reach +10° C, while on the Mount Logan plateau nearly 4000 m higher it is only -10°C. The western and southwestern flanks of the massif which face the Gulf of Alaska are more severely impacted by incoming storms than the sheltered eastern and northern flanks which face the continental interior.

Where does the snow come from? Learn more about storms from the North Pacific

On the high plateau of Mount Logan (~ 5000 m) the weather is extremely rigorous: Air temperature varies between -45° C in winter and -2° C in summer, and averages about -27° C over the whole year and melting is rare. The wind commonly blows over 30 km/h in summer, and frequently exceeds 100 km/h in winter, possibly reaching gust speeds in excess of 200 km/h. Snowfall on Mount Logan varies with elevation and exposure to wind: The greatest snowfall (~ 2-4 meters per year) occurs between 3000 and 4000 m in sheltered areas like the King Trench. High on the mountain the snow is often blown away by stiff winds, and projecting ridges and peaks expose bare rock. On the high plateau, only half a meter of snow accumulates each year, but it has little chance to melt. Read more about the Mount Logan ice cap.