IS-43 Snow and Avalanche: Colorado Avalanche Information Center Annual Report, 1996-1997


This is the Annual Report of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) for the winter of 1996-1997. It describes the operations of the CAIC and the important events of the winter season. It contains the executive summary; Funding and budget; operations; weather and avalanche synopsis; detailed winter summary; information acquisition; dissemination of forecasts, public education; and forecasting for highways. 32 pages. 3 figures. 6 tables. Digital PDF download. IS-43D

Excerpt from the report:

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) completed its 14th year as a program of the State of Colorado. It was a blue-ribbon year, for it was the first winter since 1968-69 without an avalanche death, and only the third winter in the last 40 without a fatality. This was attributable to a wonderfully stable snowpack much of the winter. Added this year was that the CAIC went on-line on February 15, with the debut of an Internet home page that had 6,400 hits on its forecast page, averaging almost 100 per day.

Avalanche events of 1996-97: The mountain snowpack in Colorado was the strongest and safest in decades. A total of 1,700 avalanches was reported to the Center (15% below normal.) Avalanche warnings were posted on 24 days (nine below normal.) There were no avalanche deaths for the first time since the winter of 1968-69. Property damage was 10% of normal.