Current Avalanche Advisory
New methods for publicizing avalanche warningsTuesday, February 24, 2015 - 6:13 PM
by Keith Stebbings
A while back I presented to the National Weather Service (NWS) at their request. I was asked to provide specific detail on how WAC uses their products, 'a day in the life of an avalanche forecaster' including steps for writing the advisory and what additional products could the NWS develop for us. The audience was primarily hazard, forecaster, IT and science personnel. The experience was as beneficial for me as I'm sure it was for them. It gave me a chance to mingle with folks who really know their stuff about weather and further streamlining communications between us when we offer safety info to the public, particularly avalanche warnings. Should criteria be met in the future necessitating WAC to issue an avalanche warning you will see new color shaded areas highlighting zones in the region under an avalanche warning on the NWS homepage!!! The avalanche warning will also be broadcast on the NWS weather radio.
Just today NWS, WAC and Wallowa County Emergency Services have begun working toward a cooperative effort to release safety info to the public when all agencies/entities are in warning criteria. Dennis Hull (Hazard Warning Meteorologist at NWS) and I spoke about the safety courses WAC has offered in the past to the public and future ideas for safety courses.
On my way back from the NWS presentation I just had to stop for dinner at The Lostine Tavern. Click on their logo (upper right on this page). The ambiance was fantastic, the food even better and they have cool quality take home souvenirs. I picked up a pint beer glass with their logo etched on the side. Get on over there and hang out for a bit.
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