Standards

Common standards form the foundation for collaboration between the European Avalanche Warning Services. The EAWS are constantly working on improving and standardizing their operating procedures and services.

Standards

Avalanche Danger Scale

In 1993, the European Avalanche Warning Services agreed on a common five-level avalanche danger scale, this was an important milestone in the history of the EAWS. The five danger levels were later introduced worldwide and today form the standard reference of modern avalanche forecasting.

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PICTURE: Cracks © regobs.no, The Norwegian Avalanche Warning Service | EAWS

PICTURE: Wet Snow © Jostein Aasen, The Norwegian Avalanche Warning Service | EAWS

Standards

Avalanche Problems

The five avalanche problems of the European Avalanche Warning Services represent five typical situations that can be encountered in the winter backcountry. Avalanche problems aim to support both recreationists and professionals in their evaluation of the avalanche danger.

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Standards

Avalanche Size

The European Avalanche Warning Services distinguish 5 avalanche size classes according to their destructive potential, run out lengths and dimensions. How big can an avalanche get?

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PICTURE: © LWD Tirol | EAWS

PICTURE: Cabin glide cracks © Siegfried Kistl | EAWS

Standards

Information Pyramid

The avalanche bulletins published by the European Avalanche Warning Services are uniformly structured along the so-called information pyramid. The most generalized information forms the top of the pyramid, the information content and level of detail increases towards the bottom.

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Standards

EAWS Matrix

The EAWS Matrix is a tool used by the European Avalanche Warning Services to determine the regional avalanche danger level. It helps the forecaster to assess the avalanche danger more objectively and thus increases the consistency of the danger level across borders.

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PICTURE: Surface Hoar © Ragnar Ekker, The Norwegian Avalanche Warning Service | EAWS