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Parks Canada’s Avalanche Forecast

Parks Canada’s new avalanche forecast was officially launched in 2011. Here's an in-depth look at the entire system.

Bulletin Sneak Peek | Mountain Parks Regional Overview 

Local map showing danger ratings | Accessing remote weather station data 

Danger Ratings | Avalanche Problems 

Elevation & Aspect | Likelihood of Triggering & Avalanche Size | Terrain and Travel Advice

New Features - 2012

FAQ's



Bulletin Sneak Peek

Note the emphasis on less text, more graphics and clearly identified problems. The bulletin is also available on a mobile site. Choose which current park bulletin you want by selecting a link at the bottom of the left navigation bar on this page.


Bulletin Sneak Peak: 



Mountain Parks Regional Overview
An interactive regional map of the Mountain Parks shows the park boundaries, the bulletin regions and the highest avalanche danger for each of our four regions. The link can be found under Avalanche Warnings on the left navigation bar.

Mountain Parks Regional Overview



Local map showing danger ratings
Selecting a region from the choices at the bottom of the map will isolates a specific bulletin region and reveal an icon summarizing the danger ratings in the Alpine, Treeline and Below Treeline. The legend on the upper right allows you to select either danger ratings or weather station layers.

Local map showing danger ratings

Accessing remote weather station data
Once the weather station layer is enabled, click on each station to see the most recent weather conditions at specific locations. This is an excellent supplement to reading the bulletin.

Accessing remote weather station data


Danger Ratings
The top section of the new Avalanche Forecast provides the avalanche danger ratings for the alpine, treeline and below treeline for a total of three days. Definitions for each rating are also provided. Click the + sign to access danger rating definitions.

Danger Ratings


Avalanche Problems
The Avalanche Problems section is the heart of the new bulletin. There will be a maximum of three highlighted problems for a bulletin. Each section outlines:

  • What the problem is
  • Where the problem exists
  • How likely the problem is to trigger an avalanche
  • What size the avalanche may be

A short text provides further context to the specific problem.

Avalanche Problems


Elevation & Aspect
The Elevation icon highlights where each particular avalanche problem will be found. In this case, the problem is in the Alpine and at Treeline. The Aspect icon highlights which quadrant of the mountains a particular avalanche problem can be found. This example shows a problem on the NE/SE sides of the mountains (always highlighted in blue).

Elevation & Aspect


Likelihood of Triggering & Avalanche Size
The Chance of Avalanches icon indicates the likelihood of triggering an avalanche. The likelihood can range from unlikely to certain. The Expected Size icon gives a sense of how large an avalanche might be, if triggered. In this case, a large avalanche (size 1.5-3) could be expected.

Likelihood of Triggering & Avalanche Size


Terrain and Travel Advice
The Terrain and Travel Advice is designed to provide short and effective messages in a text format that users can apply directly to their day in the mountains. We will offer a maximum of five points per bulletin.

Terrain and Travel Advice


New Features - 2012

Click on the bar graphs to see the danger trend for a specified elevation band.

Click on the bar graphs to see the danger trend for a specified elevation band.


As requested, the weather data is back! Click on Weather Observations for our remote weather station info.

Click on Weather Observations for our remote weather station info.



Click the Forecast Details tab for weather, snowpack, and avalanche activity.

Click the Forecast Details tab for weather, snowpack, and avalanche activity.


Bulletin FAQ’s

What’s the difference between a persistent slab and a deep persistent slab?

A persistent slab is an avalanche problem with a weak layer that will last for between 4-6 weeks. A slab on surface hoar is a perfect example of this. These kind of weak layers are typically located in the mid to upper snowpack.

A persistent slab is an avalanche problem with a weak layer that will last for between 4-6 weeks. A slab on surface hoar is a perfect example of this. These kind of weak layers are typically located in the mid to upper snowpack.

Find more information on persistent slabs here

A deep persistent slab is an avalanche problem with a weak layer near the base of the snowpack. These can be very large and destructive avalanches, and typically persist most of the winter. A slab on depth hoar is a perfect example of this.

Find more information on deep persistent slabs here