Accuracy of snow forecasts

Accuracy of snow forecasts

Started by Ncouse in Snow Forecasts and Snow Reports - 4 Replies

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Ncouse posted Feb-2014

Hello,
Am I right in thinking that the snow forecasts this year even a few days in advance are very inaccurate. I am referring to the resorts in the Kitzbuler Alpen areas such as St Johann , SkiWelt, Fieberbrunn etc. For example the forecast issued on Feb 13 indicated a decent fall of snow on the 14th which as far as I know never materialised. It seems to me that much of the predicted snow in these areas never materialised this season. The latest J2ski forecast indicates 9cms of snow for tomorrow 16th for resorts in this area, but given the current temperatures there, this strikes me as very unlikely I hope its accurate as I'm off there end of next week!!

Admin
reply to 'Accuracy of snow forecasts'
posted Feb-2014

Sorry, missed this over the weekend...
ncouse wrote: Fieberbrunn etc. For example the forecast issued on Feb 13 indicated a decent fall of snow on the 14th which as far as I know never materialised.

Fieberbrunn's reported snow depth went from 100cm to 105cm, so they must have got something...

It's important to take into account that fresh snow (which is what we estimate) will compact, and the compaction can be very rapid in mild conditions as at present - so 25cm of fresh overnight powder can easily reduce to 5cm of added depth by lunchtime, and if the underlying snowpack is also compacting due to local temperatures then the net effect may even go negative.

ncouse wrote:The latest J2ski forecast indicates 9cms of snow for tomorrow 16th for resorts in this area, but given the current temperatures there, this strikes me as very unlikely

They (see http://www.bergbahnen-fieberbrunn.com/ ) report 15cm in the past 24 hours :-
fresh snow 15cm (24 hours)


If anything, we under-estimated much of this weekends falls - but; it will compact.

Hope that makes sense, but every one of our forecast pages has this to say...

The forecast snowfall depths given are the likely average accumulations for the Lower and Upper slopes. The actual snow depth on any given piste or itinerary, may be dramatically different, particularly if the snowfall is accompanied by high winds and/or varying air temperatures.
Snow Forecasts beyond two days ahead are subject to significant change and variable reliability.


With current forecast science (and the way fresh snow behaves), that's just the way it is.

Ncouse
reply to 'Accuracy of snow forecasts'
posted Feb-2014

Thanks, Admin. I appreciate and understand your reply.

Ranchero_1979
reply to 'Accuracy of snow forecasts'
posted Feb-2014

Agree with ADMIN, forecasts on here are if anything are very pesimistic. 24hrs of solid snow in Chamonix and boot deep powder this morning. People who skied yesterday were reporting similar suggesting that the 50cm forecast by meteo France had happened. Reality is you cannot change the weather or the snow regardless once you have booked.
Temperature and wind give much better guidance on where I choose to ski on a daily basis. Lot of sense in doing a 7am bakery run to feel the conditions.
Tomorrow is set to be amazing onpiste conditions for many of us. Enjoy!

ISki Mag
reply to 'Accuracy of snow forecasts'
posted Feb-2014

In BC our weather forecasting for the public is nothing more than a crap shoot at best with predicted snow not materializing. In fact the bigger dumps we had we completely not forecast. The 5 day forecast is completely useless.

Topic last updated on 18-February-2014 at 00:23

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