Item: Snow and Weather Conditions Study for the Avalanches on the Lautaret Pass Road (French Alps)
Title: Snow and Weather Conditions Study for the Avalanches on the Lautaret Pass Road (French Alps)
Proceedings: International Snow Science Workshop, Davos 2009, Proceedings
- Daniel Goetz [ CNRM-CEN/GAME (Météo-France, CNRS), Saint-Martin-d'Hères, France ]
Abstract: This study aims at characterizing snow and weather conditions typical of avalanche events on the Lautaret pass road. Historical data of avalanche observations were compared to the corresponding snow and weather conditions. In a first step, historical series of avalanche observation and corresponding snow and weather conditions were studied statistically. No obvious correlation was found between avalanche frequency and snow and weather conditions. Thus, in a second step, we performed an expert analysis of each day with one or more avalanches (73 days). To this aim, modelled snow and weather data (French analysis models Safran-Crocus-Mepra) and local human observations were used. The study period was restricted to winters from 1983/84 to 2005/2006, to reach a large sample of information about snow and weather conditions. Our results characterize the avalanche activity according to the path or to the family of paths, variations in the number of avalanches during the period, and the avalanche frequency during the winter season. We also determined 5 types of on-the-road avalanches (recent snow avalanches, slab avalanches with and without snowfall, wet snow avalanches with and without rain), and relationship between on-the-road avalanches and level of avalanche hazard (forecasted by Meteo-France). Finally, we proposed expert forecast rules, mainly intended for avalanche forecasters in charge of the Lautaret pass road supervision.
Language of Article: English
Keywords: avalanches, lautaret pass road, snow and weather conditions, climatology, expert rules
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