Item: Guidelines for Forecasting Snow Avalanches on the Milford Road, New Zealand
Title: Guidelines for Forecasting Snow Avalanches on the Milford Road, New Zealand
Proceedings: Proceedings Whistler 2008 International Snow Science Workshop September 21-27, 2008
- H. Conway [ Milford Road Avalanche Program ]
- W. Carran [ Milford Road Avalanche Program ]
- F. Techel [ Milford Road Avalanche Program ]
- A. Carran [ Milford Road Avalanche Program ]
Abstract: We explore the use of rule-based systems as an operational tool for helping evaluate the avalanche hazard on the Milford Road, New Zealand. Climate in the region is strongly maritime; annual precipitation exceeds 7m (water equivalent) and winter storms often deposit 2-3 m of snow in the start zones. Winter rain-on-snow is common. Most of the hazard comes from direct-action avalanches. Here we exploit the wealth of local knowledge of personnel in the program, and the 20-year archive of avalanche and weather data, to establish observational thresholds that are conducive to avalanching. Observations indicate that the potential for avalanches reaching the road increases when the cumulative precipitation at East Homer gauge exceeds 60mm w.e. Of course caveats apply; we are extremely mindful of Ron Perla's rule of thumb: The only rule of thumb in avalanche work is that there is no rule of thumb.
Language of Article: English
Presenters: Mr. Howard Conway.
Keywords: snow, avalanches, forecasting