The avalanche warning program in Colorado

TitleThe avalanche warning program in Colorado
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference1977
AuthorsJudson, A.
Conference Name45th Annual Western Snow Conference
Series TitleProceedings of the 45th Annual Western Snow Conference
Date PublishedApril 1977
PublisherWestern Snow Conference
Conference LocationAlbuquerque, New Mexico
KeywordsAvalanche warning

Avalanche warnings for Colorado originate from the Forest Service's Rocky Mountain 'Forest and Range Experiment Station in Fort Collins. The current program, which began on an informal basis in 1962, has been operating formally as a joint venture with the National Weather Service since 1973. More than 150 avalanche warning bulletins have been issued during the past 3 winters. The warnings cover part or all of the State's high mountains west of the 105th meridian. Principle components of the warning system include a network of 55 mountain reporting sites, custom made mountain weather forecasts that feature predicted quantitative precipitation amounts from an orographic precipitation model, an avalanche warning center, and a communications system for disseminating avalanche warnings to the public. The program, now in its fourth winter, is running smoothly. Warnings have been well received by the public, and response has been good. Development of danger-rating models and fine tuning of the newly developed orographic precipitation model for the Colorado mountains will continue to aid the warning program.