Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 4 of 4 items for

  • Author or Editor: Rosie Howard x
  • All content x
Clear All Modify Search
Rosie Howard and Roland Stull

Abstract

Accurately calculating snow-surface temperature and liquid water content for a groomed ski run, known as a ski piste, is crucial to the preparation of fast skis for alpine racing. Ski technicians can use forecasts of these variables to reduce ski–snow friction by applying layers of wax ahead of time. A new one-dimensional numerical Lagrangian snowpack model, Prognostic Implementation for Snow Temperature Estimation (PISTE), is presented that solves the heat-, liquid water–, and ice-budget equations to calculate these snow variables. In addition, the human effects of skiing and grooming are modeled. Meteorological measurements from a 5-day, clear-sky case study at a ski piste on Whistler Mountain, British Columbia, Canada, are prescribed to PISTE as boundary conditions. Because of a lack of interior snowpack measurements, PISTE was spun up from a dry, isothermal snowpack using repeated boundary conditions from 1 day of measurements. Initial conditions for the main model run that used the subsequent 4 days were taken from this spinup. Simulated and measured snow-surface temperatures show very good agreement, with slight cold daytime and warm nighttime biases (averaging 0.5° and 1°C, respectively). The modeled behavior of snowpack temperature and liquid water content profiles is consistent with previous literature having similar radiative boundary conditions. The case study indicates that PISTE is useful under simple conditions. It shows the potential to be developed into a more sophisticated model that can incorporate complex boundary conditions such as cloudiness and precipitation and can be driven by numerical weather prediction output.

Full access
Rosie Howard and Roland Stull

During the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Canada, there were 10 mostly sunny days at the outdoor Olympic venues. The warmth and sunshine, possibly a result of El Niño conditions at the time, significantly reduced snow cover at one venue and weakened the snowpack at the other two venues, much to the chagrin of the event organizers. Solar radiation affects ski racing via its effect on snow-surface friction, abrasion, and mechanical strength. Ski technicians and athletes compensate via the choice of ski and wax. For these reasons, sun-versus-shade forecasts were produced for Canadian ski and snowboard teams.

A theodolite was used to survey the horizon elevation angles around the full azimuth circles at 133 locations spaced roughly 150 m apart along race pistes (compacted ski runs) at three Olympic venues. This survey was important for including the shadowing effects of the tall evergreen trees that border the pistes. This would not be properly accounted for if only digital elevation data were used. These data, along with the astronomical equations for solar elevation and azimuth, were used to calculate whether each survey point would be in the sun or the shade in cloudless conditions for any time and date during the Olympics. Half-hourly output was provided to ski and snowboard technicians and coaches via a graphical user interface delivered on the Internet.

Full access
Rosie Howard and Roland Stull

Abstract

Accurately calculating the surface radiation budget of a groomed ski run is crucial when determining snow surface temperature and other snow-related variables, knowledge of which is important for ski racing. Downwelling longwave radiation can compose a large part of the surface radiation budget in mountainous terrain. At a location on a ski run, a portion of the downwelling longwave radiation comes from the sky and a portion comes from tall evergreen trees. Infrared photographs taken during daytime at a ski run on Whistler Mountain, British Columbia, Canada, for a clear-sky day in February 2012 show that trees can enhance the downwelling longwave radiation at the center of the ski run considerably, with a maximum estimated enhancement of 75.6 ± 16.8 W m−2 for trees in direct sunlight. The average needle and trunk brightness temperatures from the IR photographs were correlated with measured meteorological data. Regressions were found to allow estimation of longwave radiation from trees using nearby routine meteorological data. Absolute errors in tree longwave radiation estimations using the derived trunk and needle temperatures did not exceed 4 W m−2. The effect of the intervening air upon longwave radiative transfer between trees and the point of interest on the ski run was found to be small for these very short pathlengths of 50 m or less. These results can be used to improve calculations of the surface radiation budget of a groomed ski run under clear skies.

Full access
Rosie Howard and Roland Stull

Abstract

The surface radiation budget of a groomed ski run is important to ski racing. Variables such as snow-surface temperature and liquid water content depend upon the surface radiation budget and are crucial to preparing fast skis. This case study focuses on downwelling longwave radiation, measurements of which were made at a point on a ski run on Whistler Mountain, British Columbia, Canada, throughout a 5-day clear-sky intensive observation period. Tall trees often dominate the horizon of a point on a ski run, and so contributions to total downwelling longwave radiation from trees and sky were treated separately. The “LWRAD” longwave radiative flux model estimated the total downwelling longwave radiation by first calculating thermal contributions from the trees, incorporating regressions for tree temperature that use routine meteorological measurements. Contributions from each azimuth direction were determined with horizon-elevation angles from a theodolite survey. Thermal emissions were weighted accordingly and summed. Sky contributions were estimated using the “libRadtran” radiative transfer model with input of local atmospheric profiles of temperature and humidity and were added to tree emissions. Two clear-sky emissivity parameterizations using screen-height measurements were tested for comparison. LWRAD total downwelling longwave radiation varies between 235 and 265 W m−2 and compares well to measurements, with correlation coefficient squared (r 2) of 0.96. These results can be used to improve estimates of downwelling longwave radiation for a groomed ski run.

Full access