Item: Computer system for avalanche hazard analysis at rogers pass, british columbia
Title: Computer system for avalanche hazard analysis at rogers pass, british columbia
Proceedings: Proceedings of the 1992 International Snow Science Workshop, Breckenridge, Colorado, USA
Authors: Bob Malenko, Dave Skjonsberg
Abstract: A vast amount of information is gathered each year around the world by avalanche safety and control operations. Data which was formally stored in field books and other "hard copy" sources is now often archived on some type of computer media. To make this information useable by the avalanche forecaster, a modem computer must be combined with efficient, effective software. For the purposes of avalanche control, acquisition of meteorological information from remote locations using a telemetry system was pioneered in Canada by the Snow Research and Avalanche Warning Section (SRAWS) in Mount Revelstoke and Glacier national parks (best know as Rogers Pass). From its rudimentary beginnings, the system has evolved into an indispensable avalanche hazard forecasting tool. The earlier systems produced simple visual displays of the acquired telemetry data. The information was used subjectively, much the same as any other field observation. Later systems were used as a means of data storage in addition to managing the telemetry acquisition of data. Data storage led to the concept of comparing present meteorological and snowpack conditions to archived data. The present system was installed in 1991 and consists of a powerful PC with custom designed, Windows based software. Due to the long term involvement (fifteen years) of the developers of the system, data integrity, storage format, graphical display and system priorities have remained constant. New generation computers and software combine speed and ease of operation with flexible database management, timely relational comparisons of weather and snowpack parameters and sophisticated graphics.
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Keywords: hazard, safety, software, forecasting
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