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PG Weather Service | Season start and innovations

SNOWGRID in a new look

by PowderGuide 11/19/2019
The PowderGuide weather service is starting the season. As usual, you'll find a preview and short text forecast on the homepage and our PowderMap in the weather section, which you can use to navigate to ConditionsReports, text forecast, fresh snow and sunshine forecast.

Also new on the map this winter are the SNOWGRID snow depth data! These can now be found next to the tab for the sunshine forecast under "Snow depth". The Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics (ZAMG, Austrian Meteorological Service), which developed the SNOWGRID model, has only recently started offering the data in a format that can be integrated into the map. The data itself has not changed, only the colors and the presentation have been restyled a little. As with the new snow and sunshine forecast, the CR spots can be displayed simultaneously with the map overlay and filtered according to the number of stars, for example.

SNOWGRID is based on the high-resolution INCA precipitation forecast from ZAMG. INCA can also forecast temperature and wind and this data is also incorporated into SNOWGRID, as are snow depth measurements from weather stations and radar data. SNOWGRID also takes into account the heat content and, related to this, the settling of the snow cover, as well as the lowering of the snow line due to precipitation cooling in narrow valleys. This means that there are also negative values with new colors (shades of green) in the snow depth changes, which can be displayed for the last 24, 48 or 72 hours.

SNOWGRID has a grid point every 100m, for which the snow depth and the snow depth change of the last few days are calculated. This means that our map always displays a value for an area of 100x100 square meters. This also means that small-scale fluctuations - such as those constantly encountered when skiing - are not resolved. Local wind effects - also very important when skiing - are not taken into account either, as this is very complex to model. SNOWGRID is therefore not suitable for checking how much snow there is on individual slopes. However, it gives a pretty good overview of the general snow situation in different regions. More information about the difficulties of precipitation measurements in high mountains and SNOWGRID can be found in this article.


If you look at the snow depths on the map, you'll notice: There is never snow west of Engelberg. This is of course not true, but unfortunately this is where the SNOWGRID model domain ends. This means that there is simply no more SNOWGRID data here.

Our remaining weather data is also from ZAMG and we would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their many years of pleasant cooperation! If you now extend SNOWGRID to the Western Alps, dear ZAMG, then we would be perfectly happy!

This article has been automatically translated by DeepL with subsequent editing. If you notice any spelling or grammatical errors or if the translation has lost its meaning, please write an e-mail to the editors.

Show original (German)

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