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Issuing office, publication frequency and validity
editorial office of the Swiss avalanche bulletin is attached to the WSL
Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF in Davos. The avalanche warning
service is the responsible body.
Publication frequency and validity
avalanche warning service monitors the weather, snow and avalanche situation
throughout the year. The frequency of publication and contents of the avalanche
bulletin vary according to the seasonal conditions.
winter, the avalanche bulletin consists of two parts, as described below.
Danger map including danger description:
Information on the snowpack and weather:
Early and late winter season
As a general rule, an avalanche bulletin together with a danger map continues to be published for as long as the data resources allow a detailed assessment of the danger, including the danger levels. In the transitional periods between autumn and winter (typically from the end of October until early December) and between spring and summer (typically from the end of April until early June), the avalanche bulletin is published only in the evenings. The format and content are the same as in the winter. The bulletin may cover a period of several days, running until 5 pm on the indicated final day of validity.
The issue of bulletins with a danger map and the frequency of publication depend on the following factors in particular:
From early summer until late autumn, avalanche bulletins are published
in text form and generally without reference to danger levels only in the event
of heavy snowfall. In
the late autumn, bulletins are issued according to the snow situation and
availability of information. These
bulletins are published at 5 pm in German and around 6.00 pm in French, Italian and
English, and are valid for one or several days, running until 5 pm on the
indicated final day of validity.
The indicated values are not exact, but only guidelines.
They can vary, depending on the wind, temperature and the extent and properties
of the existing snowpack. The snowfall event must affect at least an entire
massif. Local snowfall, such as occur when triggered by individual thunderstorm
cells, are disregarded.
Special case of Jura (and Sotto Ceneri)
The situation that prevails in Jura differs from that in the Alps insofar as an elevated avalanche danger occurs only on a few days and in a few places. When such a danger arises, however, it is not to be underestimated. For this reason, the daily avalanche bulletin indicates a danger level for the Jura only if the danger is categorised as considerable (level 3) or higher. A danger of the relevant magnitude occurs on around five days throughout the winter. All five danger levels are published for Sotto Ceneri. When there is no (more) snow lying on the ground, the indication of a danger level is omitted.