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Winter sports and climate

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Head: Dr. CharlesFierz

The meteorological conditions governing winter sports are influenced by both the natural variability of the climate and the climatic changes induced by mankind. We need data and models in order to visualise the current and future snow situation, and to show the potential of possible intervention strategies. For this reason, the group’s principal fields of activity encompass snow management, including piste preparation and snow farming, snowpack modelling (SNOWPACK and A3D), as well as snow climatological analyses and scenarios.



Snowpack modelling

The SNOWPACK model simulates the development of the snowpack during the winter, based on meteorological input data.

Snow transport

In a wind tunnel and at measuring sites we investigate where snow is eroded and deposited by wind and how snow changes during transport. 

Distribution of precipitation

Improving our understanding of snow distribution processes can enable us to forecast high and low water levels more accurately in future.

Boundary-layer dynamics and snow melt

What happens at the boundary between the snowpack and atmosphere or when snow melt begins? And why do some patches of snow endure longer than others?

Polar snowpack

We study polar snow and how it "ages". These findings help us reconstruct past climates and improve our predictions.



Versuchsfeld Weissfluhjoch.

Weissfluhjoch test site

Just below the Weissfluhjoch is our oldest test site with continuous measurement series since the 1930s.