Item: Snow and avalanches forecasting over the andes mountalns
Title: Snow and avalanches forecasting over the andes mountalns
Proceedings: Proceedings of the 2000 International Snow Science Workshop, October 1-6, Big Sky, Montana
Authors: Jose A. Vergara, Departamento de Geoflsica, Universidad de Chile, Rene leon, Caminos y Nieve, ANDINA-CODElCO, CHILE
Abstract: During the last three years (1998-2000), the University of Chile and COOElCO ANOINA has directed significant research towards the implementation and evaluation of an operational regional weather forecast over the Andes Mountains (Vergara et. AI, 1999). The implementation is designed to provide traditional synoptic forecasts at high-resolution grid spacing and local weather forecasts for providing warning of avalanches during winter time. The current analysis uses data based on daily snow precipitation in lagunitas (2670 m above msl), located in the central part of Chile of the Andes Mountains, as well as daily model forecasts. For this station the period study covers the last years. The 1997 and 2000 winter was one of the wettest winters during the last 30 years. This paper explores the performance of snow and avalanches forecasts during several cases of strong weather conditions over the Andes Mountains (Figure 1) dUring EI NiJio year of 1997 and compares the model results with snow observations. The results show that the 24 hour forecasts explain about 80% of the variance in snow depth data. The study demonstrates the operational capability of the model to forecasts total snow depth during the storm. Finally, the model is shown to be an effective tool for support of avalanches forecasts over the Andes Mountains due to the strong relationship between snowfall and avalanches.
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Keywords: snow, avalanches, meteorology, andes mountains, chile
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