Item: Raifos: regional avalanche information and forecasting system
Title: Raifos: regional avalanche information and forecasting system
Proceedings: Proceedings of the 2000 International Snow Science Workshop, October 1-6, Big Sky, Montana
Authors: Bernhard Brabec, Roland Meister, Norbert Raderschall, Urs Stockli, Andreas Stoffel and Thomas Stucki, Swiss Federal Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research, Davos Dort, Switzerland
Abstract: Besides the text-based and Swisswide national avalanche forecasts regional avalanche forecasts have been introduced in Switzerland in 1996. Each of the regional forecasts covers an area of about 3.000 km2 and shows the avalanche hazard in graphical form. The regional bulletins are published at 8 a.m. RAIFoS is a computer based system that contains a statistical model (NXD-REG) that forecasts the avalanche hazard for Switzerland. The model's based on the nearest neighbor approach which is applied for 60 manual weather stations. The results of each station are then compiled into a map of the current and future avalanche hazard. The model's results are an additional information for constructing avalanche hazard estimations and are fully integrated with Bulled. A GIS-based editor (BULLED) for constructing an estimation of the past or current avalanche hazards for Switzerland. The maps edited, copied, printed, exported in all important graphics formation and saved in a relational database. A text-based editor (REGBUL) for writing the forecasts for each individual region. The data of automatic stations and the official weather forecast of Switzerland are included automatically. Furthermore a set of structured sentences allows the avalanche warner to quickly compile a few sentences about the current situation. The structure of the sentences allows us to translate fully automatically into French. The hazard estimation created with BULLED is used for the region edited. These three complementary approaches are the basis of Computer Aided Regional Avalanche Forecasts. The data of automatic stations and model calculations of SNOWPACK are further important prerequisites but are not presented here.
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Keywords: avalanche warning, regional avalanche forecast, statistical models, nearest neighbours
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