Journal cover Journal topic
The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Journal topic

Journal metrics

IF value: 4.713
IF4.713
IF 5-year value: 4.927
IF 5-year
4.927
CiteScore value: 8.0
CiteScore
8.0
SNIP value: 1.425
SNIP1.425
IPP value: 4.65
IPP4.65
SJR value: 2.353
SJR2.353
Scimago H <br class='widget-line-break'>index value: 71
Scimago H
index
71
h5-index value: 53
h5-index53
Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-146
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-146
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  24 Jun 2020

24 Jun 2020

Review status
A revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal TC.

Using avalanche problems to examine the effect of large-scale atmosphere-ocean oscillations on avalanche hazard in western Canada

Pascal Haegeli1, Bret Shandro1,2, and Patrick Mair3 Pascal Haegeli et al.
  • 1School for Resource and Environmental Management, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, V5T 2P9, Canada
  • 26 Point Engineering and Avalanche Consulting, Nelson, V1L 4H5, Canada
  • 3Dept. Psychology, Harvard University, Cambridge MA, 02138, USA

Abstract. Numerous large-scale atmosphere-ocean oscillations including the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), the Pacific North American Teleconnection Pattern (PNA) and the Artic Oscillation (AO) are known to substantially affect winter weather patterns in western Canada. Several studies have examined the effect of these oscillations on avalanche hazard using long-term avalanche activity records from highway avalanche safety programs. While these studies offer valuable insights, they do not offer a comprehensive perspective on the influence of these oscillations because the underlying data only represent the conditions at a few point locations in western Canada where avalanches are tightly managed. We present a new approach for gaining insight into the relationship between atmosphere-ocean oscillations and avalanche hazard in western Canada that uses avalanche problem information published in public avalanche bulletins during the winters of 2010 to 2019. For each avalanche problem type, we calculate seasonal prevalence values for each forecast area, elevation band and season, which are then included in a series of beta mixed-effects regression models to explore both the overall and regional effects of the Pacific-centered oscillations (PO; including ENSO, PDO, PNA) and AO on the nature of avalanche hazard in the study area. Even though our study period is short, we find significant negative effects of PO on the prevalence of Storm slab avalanche problems, Wind slab avalanche problems, and Dry loose avalanche problems, which agree reasonably well with the known impacts of PO on winter weather in western Canada. The analysis also reveals a positive relationship between AO and the prevalence of Deep persistent slab avalanche problems particularly in the Rocky Mountains. In addition, we also find several smaller-scale patterns that highlight that the avalanche hazard response to these oscillations varies regionally. Our study shows that the forecaster judgment included in the avalanche problem assessments adds considerable value for these types of climate analyses. Since the predictability of the most important atmosphere-ocean oscillations is continuously improving, a better understanding of their effect on avalanche hazard can contribute to the development of informative seasonal avalanche forecasts and a better understanding of the effect of climate change on avalanche hazard.

Pascal Haegeli et al.

Interactive discussion

Status: final response (author comments only)
Status: final response (author comments only)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
[Login for Authors/Editors] [Subscribe to comment alert] Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement

Pascal Haegeli et al.

Pascal Haegeli et al.

Viewed

Total article views: 342 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total BibTeX EndNote
238 72 32 342 32 32
  • HTML: 238
  • PDF: 72
  • XML: 32
  • Total: 342
  • BibTeX: 32
  • EndNote: 32
Views and downloads (calculated since 24 Jun 2020)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 24 Jun 2020)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 311 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 311 with geography defined and 0 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
1
 
 
 
 

Cited

Saved

No saved metrics found.

Discussed

No discussed metrics found.
Latest update: 03 Dec 2020
Publications Copernicus
Download
Short summary
Numerous large-scale atmosphere-ocean oscillations including the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the Pacific North American Teleconnection Pattern and the Artic Oscillation are known to substantially affect winter weather patterns in western Canada. This study presents a novel approach for examining the effect of these atmospheric oscillations on the nature of avalanche hazard in western Canada.
Numerous large-scale atmosphere-ocean oscillations including the El Niño-Southern Oscillation,...
Citation