During the Fall of 2019 Inversion Labs developed a new version of Snowpack Tracker for the Flathead Avalanche Center (FAC) in northwest Montana.
The site can be viewed here:
We collaborated with FAC director Zach Guy to define the visualization elements and the weather stations for sourcing data. Thanks also to Andy Anderson for assisting with setup of an API source for avalanche events and hazard rating data. This is the first new development for Snowpack Tracker outside our original web application for the Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center, and we're excited to have this new addition!
New features include:
Generalized templates for extension to additional regions. We used config files to pull out region-specific components (e.g. station names) such that this style can be easily applied to additional avalanche centers or weather station collections in different regions.
Fully automated using two API sources. Weather station data is sourced from the Synoptic Data API, and avalanche event and hazard rating data is sourced from the FAC database accessed via a custom API.
24-hr data with current-day data updated for the most recent hour. The primary display is intended to show seasonal trends at 24-hr resolution, however the application also updates automatically every hour. The hover tool for the most recent day displays max, min, and averages using partial-day data. Avalanche events and hazard ratings are displayed within an hour of being posted.
Multiple station display. We used transparent fills and an interactive legend to display multiple stations together on each weather panel.
Avalanche events stacked by D-size. Whereas the original display for the Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center used crown depth to stack and color avalanche events, we switched to destructive size for the FAC display.
Hazard ratings for three forecast zones. The visualization features a display for hazard ratings that includes an overall rating and ratings for three elevation zones in the Whitefish Range, Flathead Range and Glacier NP, and Swan Range forecast zones. This allows rapid comparision of 12 different hazard ratings that are issued daily for the region.
Historical views. The web application will display all historical seasons (starting with 2018-19), accessible via a drop-down menu.
Screenshot of the full display for the Flathead Avalanche Center Snowpack Tracker,
showing the start of the 2019-20 season:
If you are interested in a version of Snowpack Tracker for your avalanche forecasting center, highway avalanche control program, or guide service, contact us!