This is the Annual Report of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) for the winter of 1988-1989. It describes the operations of the CAIC and the important events of the winter season. This annual report contains the executive summary; funding and budget; operations; weather and avalanche synopsis; detailed winter summary; information acquisition; dissemination of hazard forecasts, public education; and hazard grading. 48 pages. 8 tables. 2 appendices. Digital PDF download. IS-29D
Excerpted from the report:
The Colorado Avalanche Information Center has completed its second year under the management of the Colorado Geological Survey and its sixth year within the Department of Natural Resources. Four forecasters shared the responsibilities of a seven-day work week during the winter season from November through April.
The winter of 1988-89 was typical for the Colorado mountains in many respects. There were four sustained periods of storminess — at Thanksgiving, at Christmas, in early February, and from late March into early April. Most avalanche activity and serious incidents occurred during or just after these stormy times. In between were periods of fair weather or light snows, and light avalanche activity. The mountain snowpack was unusually stable early in the winter (because depth hoar was slow to develop), in midwinter was typically unstable with a long-lasting threat of deep-slab avalanches, and was generally stable by spring.
Summary of avalanche events: A total of 1,806 avalanches were reported to the Center this season (about 5% below normal). Avalanche Warnings were posted on 30 days (6 below normal). Four people died by avalanche (normal). There was negligible property damage.