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European Avanlanche Danger Scale

Meteomont Bulletins, based on daily, weekly and fortnightly data, carried out from forest and mountain stations along throughout the Alps and Appennines, contain an assessment of danger according to the European Avalanche Danger Scale.

We can distinguish five different categories of avalanche danger associated to different behaviors for different levels of risk.

  Icon Snowpack stability   Avalanche triggering probability
  pericolo di grado 5 The snowpack is poorly bonded and largely unstable in general.   Numerous large-sized and often very large-sized natural avalanches can be expected, even in moderately steep terrain.
  pericolo di grado 4 The snowpack is poorly bonded on most steep slopes.   Triggering is likely even from low additional loads** on many steep slopes. In some cases, numerous medium-sized and often large-sized natural avalanches can be expected.
  pericolo di grado 3 The snowpack is moderately to poorly bonded on many steep slopes*.   Triggering is possible, even from low additional loads** particularly on the indicated steep slopes*. In some cases medium-sized, in isolated cases large-sized natural avalanches are possible.
  pericolo di grado 2 The snowpack is only moderately well bonded on some steep slopes*, otherwise well bonded in general.   Triggering is possible primarily from high additional loads**, particularly on the indicated steep slopes*. Large-sized natural avalanches are unlikely.
  pericolo di grado 1 The snowpack is well bonded and stable in general.   Triggering is generally possible only from high additional loads** in isolated areas of very steep, extreme terrain. Only sluffs and small-sized natural avalanches are possible.
  • * The avalanche-prone locations are described in greater detail in the avalanche bulletin (altitude, slope aspect, type of terrain)
    • moderately steep terrain: slopes shallower than 30 degrees
    • steep slope: slopes stepper than 30 degrees
    • very steep, extreme terrain: adverse slope angle (more than 40 degrees), terrain profile, proximity to ridge, smoothness of underlying ground surface
  • ** additional loads:
    • low: individual skier / snowboarder, riding softly, not falling; snowshoer; group with good spacing (minimum 10m) keeping distances
    • high: two or more skiers / snowboarders etc. without good spacing (or without intervals); snowmachine; explosives; single hiker/climber