Item: Application of numerical wind models to snow avalanche forecasting: overview
Title: Application of numerical wind models to snow avalanche forecasting: overview
Proceedings: Proceedings of the 1976 International Snow Science Workshop, Banff, Alberta
Authors: T.W. Tesche and M.A. Yocke
Abstract: Substantial improvement in recent years has been achieved in forecasting snow avalanches. However, the increase in loss of life and property damage in the United states and Canada in the last four years suggests that the avalanche problem is far from being solved. This increase is a result of the growing exposure to avalanches of man, his structures, and the lifelines of communications, energy, and transportation upon which he depends (Tesche, 1977). If avalanche hazards are to be mitigated, greater attention must be given to prudent development and use of avalanche prone areas, improvement of avalanche control and defense technologies, and improvement of avalanche forecasting capabilities. Most destructive avalanches occur during or within 24 hrs after a storm (Perla and Martinelli, 1976). Of the many factors thought to contribute to the formation of storm-induced avalanches, the one that apparently dominates is the rate of snow loading in the avalanche starting zone. This rate is a function of many meteorological processes, including snow crystal growth and structure, snowfall intensity, wind transport, and snow deposition. If mountain weather predictions could be tailored to the needs of avalanche forecasting, then it might be possible to provide the forecaster with an additional tool to augment his experience and judgment in evaluating avalanche hazards. The objective of this paper is to summarize a recent study (Tesche and Yocke, 1976) of the potential application of mountain weather predictive techniques to storm induced (direct-action) avalanche forecasting.
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Keywords: storm-induced avalanches, topography, hazards
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