Samuel Morin, Simon Horton, Frank, Techel, Mathias Bavay, Cécile Coléou, Charles Fierz, Andreas Gobiet, Pascal Hagenmuller, Matthieu Lafaysse, Matjaž Ližar, Christoph Mitterer, Fabiano Monti, Karsten Müller, Marc Olefs, John S. Snook, Alec van Herwijnen, and Vincent Vionnet
Cold Regions Science and Technology. doi:10.1016/j.coldregions.2019.102910
Publication year: 2019

This is an open access article. Click here to download a copy.


The application of numerical modelling of the snowpack in support of avalanche hazard prediction is increasing. Modelling, in complement to direct observations and weather forecasting, provides information otherwise unavailable on the present and future state of the snowpack and its mechanical stability. However, there is often a perceived mismatch between the capabilities of modelling tools developed by research organizations and implemented by some operational services, and the actual operational use of those by avalanche forecasters. This causes frustration on both sides. By summarizing currently implemented modelling tools specifically designed for avalanche forecasting, we intend to diminish and contribute to bridging this gap. We highlight specific features and potential added value, as well as challenges preventing a more widespread use of these modelling tools. Lessons learned from currently used methods are explored and provided, as well as prospects for the future, including a list of the most critical issues to be addressed.