IS-28 Snow and Avalanche: Colorado Avalanche Information Center Annual Report, 1987-1988


This is the annual report describes the operations of the CAIC and the important events of the 1987-1988 winter season. It contains the executive summary; funding and budget; operations; weather and avalanche synopsis; detailed winter summary; information acquisition; dissemination of hazard forecasts, public education; and hazard grading. 53 pages. 8 tables. 2 appendices. Digital PDF download. IS-28D

From the report:

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center has completed its first year under the management of the Colorado Geological Survey and its fifth year within the Department of Natural Resources. Four forecasters shared the responsibilities of a seven-day work week during the winter season from November through April.

The winter of 1987-88 produced a snow cover in the Colorado mountains that showed two distinct avalanche personalities: sinister in the first half of the winter, and benign in the second half. A weak backcountry snowpack led to two fatal avalanche incidents in late December and early January; then the snow cover became unusually strong from late January on, and avalanche events dropped off dramatically.

Summary of avalanche events: A total of 1,612 avalanches were reported to the Center this season (about 15% below normal). Avalanche Warnings were posted on 32 days (4 below normal). Five people died by avalanche (one above normal). There was minimal property damage.