10B.3 Toward the Development of a Diagnostic Blowing Snow Visibility Model Based on Snow Surface Characteristics and History

Wednesday, 15 January 2020: 11:00 AM
253A (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
Theodore Letcher, ERDC-CRREL, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Hanover, NH; and C. P. Polashenski and S. LeGrande

Blowing snow presents numerous hazards to cold region operations, including visual whiteouts, drifting snow, and increased risk cold related injuries. Often, blowing snow risk is determined by simply acknowledging that snow covered regions with forecast high winds are subject to blowing snow. Furthermore, models that explicitly predict blowing snow are typically designed for the purpose of simulating snow mass transport on micrometeorological scales (Δx < 100m) and use a fixed threshold friction velocity to determine saltation and turbulent transport of snow. In this study, we demonstrate a blowing snow visibility model applied to numerical weather output generated from the Weather Research and Forecast model and coupled to the Noah-MP land surface model for two recent blowing snow events that occurred over the Northern Great Plains of the United States. The model is constructed by combining several different available snow and visibility parameterizations and it explicitly tracks the history and erodibility of the snow surface as it changes according to environmental input. The model is evaluated against available surface station data from each event and the results are compared to other commonly used diagnostic approaches. Model limitations and future development are discussed.
- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner