Estimation of the Disruptive Impact of Snowfalls in Urban Areas

Christopher R. De Freitas Department of Geography, University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Australia 4067

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Abstract

The aims of this study are the identification and evaluation of the physical characteristics of snowfall and accompanying weather conditions contributing to a description of the disruptive capacity of snowfalls in urban areas. The study focuses on five large urban areas of Canada, but it is hoped that the findings will have much wider application. Stepwise multiple regression analysis is applied to a sample of snow season data to reduce the number of variables needed to describe disruptive impact meteorologically. This was combined with a synoptic diagnosis of daily weather phenomena. Specifically, the results indicate that the disruptive intensity of a snowfall event may be expressed by a minimum of three independent meteorological elements, namely, 24 h snow accumulation, and mean wind speed and temperature during the period of fall.

Abstract

The aims of this study are the identification and evaluation of the physical characteristics of snowfall and accompanying weather conditions contributing to a description of the disruptive capacity of snowfalls in urban areas. The study focuses on five large urban areas of Canada, but it is hoped that the findings will have much wider application. Stepwise multiple regression analysis is applied to a sample of snow season data to reduce the number of variables needed to describe disruptive impact meteorologically. This was combined with a synoptic diagnosis of daily weather phenomena. Specifically, the results indicate that the disruptive intensity of a snowfall event may be expressed by a minimum of three independent meteorological elements, namely, 24 h snow accumulation, and mean wind speed and temperature during the period of fall.

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