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Extraordinary snow and avalanche situation - Monday, 14.01.2019, 9:00 am

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Regionally very high avalanche danger in the Swiss Alps


It has been snowing heavily and persistently in the mountains since Saturday evening. By Monday morning along the northern Alpine Ridge and in parts of Grisons, there was 60 to 100 cm of fresh snow registered over widespread areas. The intensive precipitation is expected to persist throughout the day today. By Monday evening between the Bernese Oberland and the Alpstein, in northern Upper Valais and in the northern parts of Grisons, an additional 30 to 50 cm of fresh snow is anticipated.

In the northeastern regions there has been an extraordinary amount of snowfall for at least two weeks in some places. The snow depths are above average for this juncture of the season. That is, over widespread areas the snow on the ground is between 1.5 and twice as much as usual. The SLF ranks avalanche danger for Monday, 14 January at the highest possible danger level (5, "very high") in the following regions:

  • on the northern flank of the Alps from the eastern part of the Bernese Oberland over the Urner and Glarner Alps and into the northern parts of Grison

This danger level prevails only rarely. It was last assigned in January 2018 over wide ranging terrain, before that in the avalanche winter of 1999. Many large avalanches can be expected, some of them will be extremely large. These avalanches can extend far down into the valleys. They can also place transportation routes and properties at risk which are endangered only very seldom. The instructions of the authorities governing public safety and the local safety services must be obeyed precisely and without delay. In numerous other regions, avalanche danger level 4 (high) prevails. Also in those regions, very critical conditions currently reign. Exposed transportation routes and free-standing buildings can be endangered. In all regions which are being threatened, we urgently advise against all backcountry winter sports in outlying terrain, away from secured and marked ski runs.

When this period of precipitation comes to an end, the avalanche situation will gradually calm, the dangers diminish. The next Avalanche Bulletin will be published on Monday, 14 January at 5:00 pm.


Important information: