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Winter WeatherBlizzards Create a Winter Storm PlanGet ready for winter with these useful tips.Avalanche FAQsLearn the basics about avalanches. For more details go to PBS - NOVA Online and USFS National Avalanche Center.Winter Weather Advisories and WarningsWhen winter weather approaches, be safe, be smart! Stay alert to weather signs when the following advisories, watches or warnings are issued.Blizzard FAQsBe ready for blizzards with information from the National Weather Service.Thawing Frozen PipesIf you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Here's advice from the Red Cross on what to do to make the water run again.Getting Your Family Ready for WinterWhen winter hits, sometimes it hits hard! Listen to your local weather forecaster and read through the following tips to keep your family warm in winter weather.Ice Dams Prevention and RemovalWater dripping into your house in the middle of winter could be assign that you've got an ice dam. Here is what you need to know and do, courtesy of the University of Minnesota.Hypothermia and FrostbiteHypothermia (body's temperature below 95 degrees Fahrenheit) and frostbite (severe reaction to cold exposure that can cause permanent damage) are real dangers in cold weather. Here’s how to avoid both and what to do if they occur.When a Winter Storm Watch or Warning Is IssuedThreatening winter weather expected? Be safe, be smart and tune to your local radio or television stations for information and instructions. Then follow these tips.

Avalanche FAQs

Learn the basics about avalanches. For more details go to PBS - NOVA Online and USFS National Avalanche Center.

What Is an Avalanche?

An avalanche (also called a slide) is a mass of snow moving down a slope set off by a trigger.

There are 7 types of avalanches:

  • Slab Avalanche
  • Loose Snow Avalanche
  • Icefall Avalanche
  • Cornice Fall Avalanche
  • Wet Avalanche
  • Glide Avalanche
  • Slush Avalanche

What triggers an avalanche?

Natural triggers: weather (wind, snow, rain or sun) that stresses the snowpack to its breaking point

Human-triggers: person's weight on an already weather-stressed snowpack

WHN Expert Tip: Noise does NOT trigger avalanches. USFS National Avalanche Center

Why are they so hard to predict?

Changing weather conditions continually affect the strength of the layers within the snowpack.

The snowpack on every slope is different depending on what exposure that slope has to the wind and sun.

For more information

Learn more about avalanches and how to avoid them:

Avalanche Awareness
Learn more about avalanches and what precautions to take. The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) archives and distributes digital and analog snow and ice data.

Forest Service National Avalanche Center
Covers avalanche basics, an interactive tour and links to other great resources.

National Avalanche Centers
Lists avalanche centers across the U.S. and Canada. Click on a city to find the website link and further information.

NOVA Online: Avalanche!
Learn about NOVA's Avalanche! TV special, the elements of an avalanche, the makings of the TV program and links to other resources.

Winter WeatherBlizzards Create a Winter Storm PlanGet ready for winter with these useful tips.Avalanche FAQsLearn the basics about avalanches. For more details go to PBS - NOVA Online and USFS National Avalanche Center.Winter Weather Advisories and WarningsWhen winter weather approaches, be safe, be smart! Stay alert to weather signs when the following advisories, watches or warnings are issued.Blizzard FAQsBe ready for blizzards with information from the National Weather Service.Thawing Frozen PipesIf you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Here's advice from the Red Cross on what to do to make the water run again.Getting Your Family Ready for WinterWhen winter hits, sometimes it hits hard! Listen to your local weather forecaster and read through the following tips to keep your family warm in winter weather.Ice Dams Prevention and RemovalWater dripping into your house in the middle of winter could be assign that you've got an ice dam. Here is what you need to know and do, courtesy of the University of Minnesota.Hypothermia and FrostbiteHypothermia (body's temperature below 95 degrees Fahrenheit) and frostbite (severe reaction to cold exposure that can cause permanent damage) are real dangers in cold weather. Here’s how to avoid both and what to do if they occur.When a Winter Storm Watch or Warning Is IssuedThreatening winter weather expected? Be safe, be smart and tune to your local radio or television stations for information and instructions. Then follow these tips.