With warmer temperatures on the way in parts of BC and Alberta, Avalanche Canada is immediately implementing a special public avalanche Warning, saying the snowpack could be destabilized.
“There are persistent weak layers in the mountain snowpack across most of southern BC and western Alberta,” explains James Floyer, forecasting program supervisor for Avalanche Canada. “This special warning targets regions where these layers have proven to be an issue. The combination of this snowpack structure and higher temperatures will make natural and human-triggered avalanches much more likely.”
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Floyer says there have been a number of close calls reported recently.
“There is a lot of uncertainty with these weak layers,” adds Floyer. “While we have targeted an area where we think there is a higher risk of triggering these deep weak layers, we also urge backcountry users in adjacent regions to exercise caution during this warming period.”
Avalanche Canada offers a number of resources, including the Dangerator, to help people educate themselves and be prepared before they head into the backcountry.
According to Avalanche Canada, “The Dangerator is a tool to help estimate an avalanche danger rating for your local conditions when there is no forecast to advise you. The Dangerator guides you through a two-step process of combining weather data and field observations to assess whether the danger is moderate, considerable or high.”
You can find more information and more resources here.