I have a simple question: why does Meteo France only begin Avalanche forecasting next week??? In N America these non-profit forecasting brothers give reports as soon as conditions warrant (as soon as it starts to snow).
I would think French Authorities would consider that many tourists and french citizens could profit from such information being available as soon as it snows, and that the PGHM and CRS would welcome it as well.
And maybe some lives would be saved, due to the importance such daily reports play in education and prevention.
As you know they do a twice weekly bulletin at the moment. I spoke to Cécile Coleou of Meteo France about this a couple of weeks ago. For the 1-5 scale it seems they are quite scientific about this and base it on the number of avalanches on various slope angles and before the ski resorts open they don’t have enough information from the piste services to do the analysis in a statistically meaningful fashion. They are also heavily reliant on pisteurs for the daily bulletin. However resorts have been open since the end of November so you would have thought they would have cranked things into gear by now. There has been a lot of remarks about this in places like skitour.fr too.
I also learned they do an English snow and avalanche bulletin for the Northern Alps… but this is only available to ski resort not on the Web.
She also explained that they would like to move towards a more graphical bulletin like in Utah but again no date for when or if this would happen.
So until it does, we just have to stick our noses outside the window.
which means Meteo France does not have the same internal operating structure (budget) as Utah? that they rely mostly on ski resort participation and don’t hire/rely on volunteer data collectors?
Do you think this snowboarder would have taken any notice of it? His friend had already turned back?
The people who use the mountains shouldn’t need meteo france to tell them there is a risk....
I have skied off piste this year but also I have seen lots of ‘breaks’ in ‘new’ places.