Avalanche Canada will issue its final forecast for the season on Saturday (March 28), a month earlier than normal.

The final three-day forecast will remain in effect until March 30th.

The forecasts rely primarily on data from a network of avalanche professionals across western Canada.

The early closure of backcountry operations due to the Covid-19 pandemic has cut off much of that data stream, so the warning service is no longer receiving enough information to issue accurate forecasts.

The decision to end forecasting early is also prompted by concerns for the healthcare system during this epidemic.

“We do not want to provide a service that promotes recreating in mountainous terrain, where there is often the significant hazard,” explained Executive Director Gilles Valade.

“Both BC and Alberta have declared a state of emergency. Our health authorities, as well as our Prime Minister, are urging people to stay home. This is clearly not the time for taking any sort of risk.”