Avalanche Warnings in Switzerland to be modified starting this winter. The SLF is enhancing the precision by subdividing the danger levels. It will indicate whether the danger is towards the bottom end, in the middle or towards the top end of the reported level.
The SLF (Swiss Institute for Avalanche Research) says the new system will provide “users with more precise information for assessing the risk”.
The five danger levels themselves remain unchanged.
Can we use Artificial Intelligence for Avalanche Forecasting?
Even the best forecasters only reach about 75% accuracy in their avalanche predictions. After all, they are only human. One of the greatest challenges is in the fact that avalanche danger cannot be precisely measured or communicated. It is, therefore, a matter of expert assessment and opinion by humans.
Last season the Swiss Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research successfully tested a first-of-its-kind, artificial intelligence computer program to assist in its avalanche forecasts. The SLF is a world leader in the field of avalanche forecasting and pushes the boundaries of avalanche forecasting methods.
Swiss avalanche deaths are up this season. Significantly more people have been killed than the latest 20-year average. The majority of victims were off-piste skiers or snowboarders. The grim statistics come in a report by the Swiss Institute for Snow & Avalanche Research (SLF) and cover the period from 1st October 2020 to 30th March 2021.
Two people caught in a Swiss avalanche were rescued after their dogs barked for help. The barking attracted the attention of nearby snowshoers who were able to dig them out.
“The dogs attracted the attention of a group of snowshoers who were some distance away in the same valley but had not witnessed the avalanche.”
About 15-20 minutes after the avalanche, the group was at the scene, where one of the avalanche victims’ hands was visible; the other person was buried entirely, Rega said. Both were dug out slightly injured and with mild hypothermia. Rega then flew them by helicopter to hospital.