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Capabilities and limitations of the avalanche bulletin

As a general rule, the accuracy of both weather forecasting and the subsequent prognosis of the avalanche danger can be compromised by inaccurate assessments. Such is the nature of forecasting. The correlation that exists between the regional danger level, possible avalanche activity and the relevant consequences (and any action that needs to be taken) must be determined locally by the individual user of the avalanche bulletin.
The bulletin uses only general formulations. It is unable to assess local conditions and certainly not individual slopes. For this reason, snow sport participants and those responsible for safety must rely on their own procedures when assessing the local situation. Such procedures include local weather, snow and avalanche observations; snowpack analysis; examining maps; slope evaluation in the field; and individual risk considerations. The safety services may also have access to the results of artificial avalanche triggering. All the available information should be taken into consideration before making a decision. Particular attention is to be paid to information indicating unstable conditions.
The avalanche bulletin reports only on conditions outside the areas protected by the local railway and cableway safety services. It does not cover controlled ski runs and pistes.
The avalanche bulletin may describe slopes or parts of slopes where especially critical conditions are to be expected. In view of the available data resources, however, it is able to indicate only the regional avalanche danger. Detailed information cannot be provided on small areas.
It is also worth noting that the information density is highest for intermediate and high altitudes, and lowest for the high Alpine regions. Remarks concerning the high Alpine regions therefore demand special scrutiny.
When the weather situation is changing rapidly, it is impossible to describe the emerging spatial and temporal variations in the avalanche danger accurately.
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