Snow drift

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Snow drift forecasting

The aim is to develop services in snow drift forecasting for roads based on numerical weather prediction models, validated and/or improved with information on snow cover from in-situ and remote sensing observations. The dissemination of snow drift forecasts will assist road authorities in montoring road conditions and in decision making on servicing or closing roads.  The forecast may also become a useful input for the general public in planning their travel.


As their main input into SNAPS, Vegsyn consult has developed a model that evaluates the possibility of snow-drift based on information about snow-cover and weather forecasting.  The model was based on practices described in the literature but also research and verification based on web-camera observations and weather station on Steingrimsfjardarheidi in Iceland.















The modelling is split in two main parts:  Firstly, the model evaluates the driftability of the snow surface based on snow surface age, snow surface weather history and accumulated snow-drift history.  Secondly a snow-drift index is evaluated based on forementioned driftability and wind speed.


As of mid-summer 2013 the snow-drift scheme has been integrated into the Finnish Meteorological Office local area forecasting system, and as of October 2013 the snow-drift scheme has been implemented and running at the Icelandic Meteorological Office.  Snow-drift snow maps for Iceland are accessible on the SNAPS snow map page (select snow drift tab) and for Finland on the FMI SNAPS site .

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