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About the Forecasts

To create an avalanche forecast, the Northwest Avalanche Center forecasters distill snowpack information gathered from a variety of sources and try to paint a regional picture of snow layering and related stability which can be found in each day's avalanche forecast.  Avalanche information comes from snow and weather observations made by NWAC forecasters, NWAC professional observers, as well as other snow safety professionals and back country travelers.  Professional ski patrols, highway avalanche control programs, national park and forest rangers, ski guides and others are in relatively constant contact with NWAC staff throughout the winter in order to ensure that the best and most pertinent snow safety information is made available.

Avalanche Warning, Watch and Special Bulletin

Want to the know the criteria for NWAC to issue an Avalanche Warning, Watch or Special Avalanche Bulletin?

Please see this document:  NWAC Warning, Watch and Bulletin Definitions

Avalanche Problems

Avalanche forecasters in the United States use nine distinct ‘types’ to describe avalanche conditions. Definitions of the nine avalanche problems along with a short video produced by the National Avalanche Center can be found here:  

https://avalanche.org/avalanche-encyclopedia/avalanche-problem/