IS-53 Snow and Avalanche: Colorado Avalanche Information Center Annual Report 1998-1999


This is the Annual Report of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) for the winter of 1998-1999. It describes the operations of the CAIC and the important events of the winter season. This annual report contains the executive summary; funding and budget; operations; weather and avalanche synopsis; detailed winter summary; data acquisition; dissemination of hazard forecasts; public education; forecasting for Colorado’s highways. 40 pages. Digital PDF download. IS-53D

From the report:

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) completed its 16th year as a program of the State of Colorado. On February 6, an avalanche tragedy claimed three young men, the worst accident in Colorado in 11 years. Details are provided in the report.

Avalanche events of 1998–99: This was a transition year, with the weather pattern making a change from El Niño to La Niña. Overall it produced a storm track that was north of Colorado so that snowfall that was slightly below normal for Colorado’s Northern Mountains, below normal in the Central Mountains, and far below normal in the Southern Mountains— although heavy April snows boosted the percentages for all mountains. The mountain snowpack was shallower than normal almost all winter. A total of 2,048 avalanches was reported to the Center (5 percent below the average of 2,166). There were few large storms and few extensive avalanche cycles. Avalanche Warnings were posted on 19 days (14 below normal). There were six avalanche deaths (normal). Property damage was virtually nil at $2,000 (far below normal).