Potential of kilometric-resolution meteorological forecasts for snowpack modelling in mountainous terrain

Abstract : Monitoring and representing the snowpack variability in mountains are crucial ecological and societal issues. The recent development of meteorological models at kilometric scale offers a new potential to improve snowpack simulations in mountains. In this thesis, we assessed the potential of forecasts from the numerical weather prediction model AROME at 2.5 km horizontal resolution to drive the detailed snowpack model Crocus. AROME-Crocus distributed simulations were first evaluated over the Pyrenees from 2010 to 2014. They showed benefits in representing the snowpack spatio-temporal variability as compared to the massif-based approach of the current operational system SAFRAN-Crocus, despite an overestimation of snow depth. Then, we studied the potential added value of satellite-derived products of incoming radiations for simulating the snow cover in the French Alps and Pyrenees. These products were found of good quality in mountains but their impact on the simulated snow cover is questionable. Finally, we showed how the cloud microphysics scheme of AROME associated with Crocus enables to better predict ice formation on top of the snowpack due to freezing precipitation in the Pyrenees. These works pave the way for high-resolution distributed snowpack forecasting in mountains.
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Louis Quéno. Potential of kilometric-resolution meteorological forecasts for snowpack modelling in mountainous terrain. Meteorology. Université Paul Sabatier - Toulouse III, 2017. English. ⟨NNT : 2017TOU30360⟩. ⟨tel-01881310v2⟩

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