VAWS: Synoptic Climatology of Extreme Snow and Avalanche Events in Southern Alaska

Wednesday, October 3, 2018 at 11:00 AM AKDT
Kristy C. Carter, Iowa State University

Snowfall distribution in southern Alaska during large snowfall events (>12inches/day) is complex and dependent on several small-scale factors. Common synoptic patterns among large snowfall events and cities were studied to create a snow climatology for seven cities in southern Alaska based on the predominant wind flow at the surface and aloft, and the location of the surface low and 500mb height field. Results aid in understanding the synoptic set-up for large snowfall events in each city and provide insight for increased skill in future forecasting applications. In addition, a snow avalanche climatology was created for two ski areas to understand avalanche occurrences and their triggers in southern Alaska.

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