Using CAIC Products

Below is a description of the products the CAIC issues daily from November through May. For information on Basic Avalanche Safety see here 

The CAIC forecasts backcountry avalanche and mountain weather conditions for the mountains of Colorado. Your primary interaction with the CAIC website will be through the Homepage which centers on a map of the backcountry forecast zones. You can access Backcountry Avalanche forecasts by clicking on your desired location on the homepage map, or by searching for a location in the search bar  in the upper right corner of the homepage map. Watch the short introduction video to navigating the homepage for more detailed information.

Introduction to the new CAIC homepage

The CAIC issues three primary products.

Backcountry Avalanche forecasts and Regional Discussions are issued by 4:30pm daily. Forecasts include avalanche danger by elevation for the following two days. The Forecasts may have up to three Avalanche Problems, with aspect elevation, likelihood, and expected size described graphically. A paragraph of text provides additional details.  

Regional discussions have no fixed format and may include analysis of relevant observations, technical details on the snowpack, and thoughts on the impact of future weather.

A tray on the right hand side of the homepage will populate with the forecast details, and will default to the first tab, Avalanche Forecast. The second tab will access the Regional Discussion, and the third tab will access the point weather forecast tables.  Watch the short videos below for more detailed information. 

Forecast Details tutorial
Special products and seldom used zones

Backcountry Weather forecasts are issued for 21 points across the state  twice daily, by 6:00 am and 12:00 pm. The Weather forecasts are for for the next 36 hours. All of the weather forecast points are presented in tabular format, and are grouped by region: Northern Mountains, Central Mountains, and Southern Mountains.  You can obtain your weather forecast by clicking Forecasts→ Weather Forecast or by retrieving a backcountry avalanche forecast and selecting the third tab in the forecast details tray.

Getting CAIC Weather Forecasts

Submitting and viewing field reports

Video tutorial on submitting field reports to the CAIC observation platform
Viewing, filtering, and sorting field reports on CAIC Observations page