Item: Computer graphics applications in avalanche forecasting
Title: Computer graphics applications in avalanche forecasting
Proceedings: Proceedings of the 1992 International Snow Science Workshop, Breckenridge, Colorado, USA
Authors: Roger Atkins
Abstract: Several applications of computer-generated graphics for use in avalanche forecasting are presented. These applications include computer graphics currently in use with the SnowBase program created by the author and some possibilities not yet in practice. Traditional graphic techniques used in avalanche forecasting or meteorology, such as snow profiling, seasonal time-lines, and wind roses are discussed. Consideration is given to the application of computer graphic techniques for creating and manipulating these images in the avalanche forecasting setting. Computer graphics allow derived parameters to be displayed in addition to original data in the form it is collected. A derived parameter is a parameter that is not measured directly, but is computed from one or more measured parameters. For example, one may plot the vapor pressure gradient within a snow profile by computing vapor pressure from field temperature data. Another example, the snow rose, uses parameters derived from weather data. The snow rose is a polar plot cOmbining wind and precipitation intensity data to represent slope loading patterns during a specified period. The computer also opens the door for new graphic formats such as the snow cone. The snow cone is a plot that displays the distribution of snow surface conditions at varying elevations and aspects. The effective use of computer graphics for avalanche forecasting requires standards for data acquisition and format and timely data display for decision making.
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Keywords: snow cone, decision making, forecasting
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