Ask Storm Team 11: What causes avalanches?


Thankfully, we don’t have to worry much about avalanches here, but this is a threat that can be common in many places across the country. 

Fresh snow that falls on top of an older, more compacted, snow base becomes unstable. Instability increases the danger of an avalanche. 

There are many ways an avalanche can be triggered:

  • Type & amount of snow
  • Extreme winds
  • Melting due to the sun
  • Surface features & slope aspects
  • Man-made triggers

What can you do to be prepared for an avalanche potential? The most important thing is to be informed, you can even take a safety course on avalanches. Learn to recognize avalanche terrain, carry the right equipment, and be very aware and cautious. 

Ask Storm Team 11 your questions! Click here to submit.

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