Colorado Avalanche Experts Study Series of Slides Last Winter, Point To Climate Change

November 10, 2019
<p>CDOT crews work to clear the Red Mountain Pass after avalanches and snow slides covered the road.</p>
<p>CDOT crews work to clear the Red Mountain Pass after avalanches and snow slides covered the road.</p>
Courtesy of CDOT
CDOT crews work to clear the Red Mountain Pass after avalanches and snow slides covered the road.

Researchers continue to study a series of destructive avalanches in Colorado last winter.

Some of the avalanches from March 1-14 caused unprecedented damage, destroying a home and a mining structure dating to 1881.

Brian Lazar with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center told an audience in Carbondale on Wednesday nobody alive had seen avalanches that severe in Colorado.

The center recorded nearly 1,000 avalanches but Lazar suspects the real number was closer to 5,000.

The center documented 87 avalanches at or above D4, or fourth-strongest on a D1-D5 scale. Officials documented 24 D4 avalanches in Colorado over the previous nine years.

The Aspen Times reports some mountains got up to 12 feet of snow. Lazar says climate change is causing such heavy snow to hit Colorado more often.