Item: Northwest avalanches
Title: Northwest avalanches
Proceedings: 1990 International Snow Science Workshop, Bigfork, Montana USA, October 9-13
Authors: S.A. Ferguson, M.B. Moore, R.T. Marriott, K. Kramer
Abstract: Dramatically fluctuating winter weather, complex topography, and an extended snow season in the Northwest cause a unique pattern of avalanches and related problems. In this poster session, several photos and graphs are shown to illustrate a wide range of avalanching particular to the Northwest. For example, the largest single avalanche disaster in North America occurred during a 1910 storm when 96 people were killed while waiting in a train near the town of Wellington, Washington. In addition to major events, many minor events plague mountain travelers year round. In fact, as many avalanche fatalities occur during the month of Mayas in February, the peak month for most other areas. In Washington and Oregon more people have been killed by avalanches than any other natural hazard. Although avalanche control and forecasting programs are very effective at decreasing the risk to avalanches, significant changes in snow stability often occur within minutes because of an unusual flow pattern that occurs through the Cascade Passes.
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Keywords: harard, accident, fatalities, forecasting, stability
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