If you’re in a formal avalanche forecasting situation and will be forecasting for, say, a highway department, ski area, or helicopter skiing operation, ideally you’ll want the full complement of daily historical weather data from the start of the winter season. This includes:
In this section you can check the historical weather observations recording from relevant automated weather sites in ski resorts and huts. This data is collected every 15 mins. Please be aware that those recordings provide a local snapshot of the conditions at this particular location and as such should not be accepted as indicative of the weather patterns in all the mountain as weather is affected by local topography and micro climates.
Keep a record of any reported avalanches, identifying the elevation, aspect, and relative size of each event. Recent avalanche activity is one of the best indicators of an unstable snowpack. Look for clues of recent avalanche activity:
Look for Recent Avalanche Activity in our Mountain Report Section
Once you’ve gathered pre-forecast information, you’re ready to evaluate the current weather situation, looking at conditions during the preceding 24 hours. Specifically, You’ll examine weather variables that have the greatest impact on snowpack and avalanche potential (precipitation, wind, temperature, and cloud cover) and determine if they’ve exceeded critical thresholds. Solar radiation is also important but will be considered in combination with cloud cover. This video guide summarizes the important weather parameters and shows how to interpret the values for avalanche potential.
When forecasting future weather conditions, you analyse the same weather variables (precipitation, wind, air temperature, and cloud cover) but use weather forecast models to predict how they may change in the future. Choose a model that works well in your area, preferably a mesoscale or high-resolution regional model.
Most avalanche weather forecasts focus on the next 24 hours. However, longer-range forecasts of up to 48 hours or more are needed when, for example, planning long-range travel or future avalanche hazard reduction work.
View Mountain Weather Forecast here