For backcountry users who frequent remote areas out of cell range, getting a current forecast just became easier. Avalanche Canada now supports a text-only forecast that can be received by satellite communication devices such as an InReach or SPOT.
Due to limitations on the text length for these devices, the forecast is greatly abbreviated. If you can get online, getting the forecast through the Avalanche Canada app is a much better option. But if that is not possible, the text-only forecast will provide the essential information, packed into two short messages.
The first message includes the forecast region, date, and danger rating for each elevation band. It also states whether a persistent slab problem exists, which is an important point for the Avaluator decision-making tool. The second message will contain the forecaster’s main concerns for the current conditions.
The text-only forecast is updated daily at 5 p.m. (PST — Pacific Standard Time) and provides information for just one day, as opposed to the three-day forecast provided by the app. Forecasts issued by Avalanche Québec are published daily at 18h00 (EST — Eastern Standard Time).
Although Avalanche Canada is not charging for this service, SMS text messaging rates will apply according to the subscription plan for your device.
How do I access a text-only forecast?
- Find out your forecast region code. The codes for each region are below.
- Using your device’s SMS feature, text your region code to 1-450-328-1435
- Your forecast will be delivered automatically via text.
- Cariboo – CAR
- Kootenay Boundary – KB
- Lizard Range/Flathead – Liz
- North Columbia – NCOL
- North Rockies – NORO
- Northwest Coast – NWC
- Northwest Inland – NWI
- Purcells – PUR
- Sea-to-Sky – STS
- South Coast – SCST
- South Coast Inland – SCIN
- South Columbia – SCOL
- South Rockies – SORO
- Vancouver Island - VISL
- Yukon – YT
- Chic-Chocs (English forecast) – CCE
- Chic-Chocs (prévision en français) – CCF
At times, the second message of the text forecast is not coming through. We are aware of this and working on resolving the issue. If you experience this problem try immediately making a second call for the forecast. In most cases when you receive the forecast the second time you will receive both messages.