Being Aware of the Avalanche Danger - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Being Aware of the Avalanche Danger

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The Sierra Avalanche Center set the avalanche danger level to extreme in the Sierra Nevada following a series of storms in the early part of January. A minor break in the weather set the danger level to low on Monday.

Andy Anderson, a forecaster with the Sierra Avalanche Center says the danger level could change again because of the possibility or more rain and snow as winter goes on.

"The snow pack is something that's always dynamic and changing and it could change incredibly quickly," says Anderson.

Anderson inspects the snow pack for a living. It's his job to analyze snow and rain fall in the sierra to determine how dangerous avalanche terrain may be.

“What we're telling people is what kind of avalanches they might expect on a given day, what the triggers of those avalanches might be," says Anderson.

When the danger level is extreme, Anderson says natural avalanches are nearly certain to happen, meaning there doesn't necessarily need to be a trigger. He says a beacon, a shovel and a probe are items that every person should have before heading out to the back country and also some basic knowledge of where the dangers might be.

“Look out for signs of instability and the terrain that you're in, are you standing in the middle of an avalanche path, a big steep slope and do you see recent avalanches around you?" says Anderson.

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