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Taos center aids forest, weather services with avalanche warnings

Eddie Garcia
January 11, 2017 05:30 PM

The newly formed Taos Avalanche Center is joining forces with the U.S. Forest Service and National Weather Service to issue avalanche warnings in New Mexico for the first time.

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Shawn Bennett, NWS Meteorologist-in-Charge, said it's a much-needed collaborative effort.

"Together we then relay their warning information to the public," Bennett said.

Many people already know what an avalanche looks like, but what causes them?

"You get a lot of snow quickly, then there's a chance that the new snow can break loose and come down the steep slopes," Bennett said.

With storms dropping layer after layer of heavy snow, it can eventually become unstable like a house of cards. Some avalanches can be triggered by skiers in high-risk areas.

"It can be hazardous, it can kill people," said Bennett.

In fact, it could be as many as 30 deaths per winter. With that in mind, Bennett and his team are focusing on the coming storm this weekend which could potentially cause avalanche threats in our state.

He said from now on, New Mexicans should keep an eye on weather reports for avalanche warnings.

"It's likely that we'll see this again this winter," Bennett said.

Credits

Eddie Garcia

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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