Item: Special avalanche warnings at the canadian avalanche centre
Title: Special avalanche warnings at the canadian avalanche centre
Proceedings: Proceedings of the 2006 International Snow Science Workshop, Telluride, Colorado
Authors: John Kelly, Ilya Storm and Jim McAllister, Canadian Avalanche Centre, Revelstoke, British Columbia, British Columbia Provincial Emergency Program, Victoria, British Columbia
Abstract: This poster describes the Special Public Avalanche Warning Program. The Canadian Avalanche Centre with the support of the British Columbia Provincial Emergency Program issues Special Public Avalanche Warnings for times when winter backcountry travellers are expected to face elevated avalanche risk. The decision to issue a warning follows established criteria that capture periods when recreationists’ perception of risk won’t map well onto existing or forecast conditions. Because of the focus on perception, our analysis incorporates both physical and human factors to anticipate the need for issuing a special warning. Integrating both traditional avalanche forecasting factors and insights into the psychology of decision making means warnings are rarely issued during periods of high avalanche activity. Common profiles for issuing warnings will be described. Special Public Avalanche Warnings are infrequently issued, carefully targeted messages that remain in effect for a short period of time. They cover carefully defined geographic areas and target specific backcountry user groups. Warnings identify specific avalanche safety issues and provide guidance for how to improve your chances for a safe recreational experience. They consist of: notifying partner agencies; a press release; a targeted media campaign; an avalanche forecast, report, or warning product and update as required by changing conditions, and; avalanche forecaster availability for media and public enquiries. We feel the Special Public Avalanche Warning program may be one of our most effective communication devices that assist our users successfully manage their avalanche risks.
Keywords: avalanche, avalanche warning, avalanche accident, avalanche forecasting
Digital Abstract Not Available