Press release archive: 2002

Finnish Meteorological Institute surveys avalanches in Finland

19.2.2002 12:00

Finnish Meteorological Institute begins to collect observations on avalanches occurring in Finland. The information will be used to study the possibilities to develop an avalanche warning and forecasting service.

Snow monitoring in Northern Finland has indicated that the risk of avalanches has grown this winter. Ice crusts created by recent warm weather in January and February and subsequent snowfalls have made snowcover favourable for avalanche occurence. Finnish Meteorological Institute has already received information on some avalanches this winter at ski centers in Northern Finland.

Finnish Meteorological Institute collects observations on avalanches together with Finnish Association of Ski Centers. Information on avalanches from the general public is also welcomed, in order to make the survey as comprehensive as possible.

Information on avalanches, mainly those which have occurred this winter but also earlier incidents, can be sent by e-mail to lumivyory@fmi.fi . The report should include specific account about the time, location and extent of the avalanche, as well as possible damages, weather conditions on the location and contact information for the person sending the report.

Information can also be sent by mail to Finnish Meteorological Institute, Regional Services, Northern Finland, P.O Box 8178, 96101 Rovaniemi, Finland. A form in the Finnish language for reporting information on avalanches can also be found at www.fmi.fi/palaute/lumiv.html

The popularity of skiing, ski safaris and snow mobile safaris, which take place outside of marked slopes, continues to grow. These winter sports take people outside maintained recreational areas, where the snowcover properties differ considerably from the familiar groomed ski-slopes. Slopes with natural snowcover also have an increased risk of avalanches.

For more information on weather conditions in Northern Finland call the Northern Finland Regional Service, Tel. 0600 16200 (3.01 EUR/min + local network charge). The service is available only when the call is made from Finland.

For more information on the avalanche survey, please contact:
Meteorologist Alberto Blanco, e-mail alberto.blanco@fmi.fi
Regional Manager Heikki Juntti, e-mail heikki.juntti@fmi.fi