Impact of large-scale climatic oscillations on snowfall-related climate parameters in the world's major downhill ski areas: a review

C. Lehr, P.J. Ward, M.S. Kummu

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    Abstract

    Skiers are passionate about finding the best snow conditions. Snow conditions in thousands of ski resorts around the world depend mainly on natural snowfall, particularly in the case of backcountry skiing. In various mountain ranges popular among skiers, snowfall is strongly linked to large-scale climatic oscillations. This paper reviews existing information on the impacts of several of these phenomena, such as the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, North Atlantic Oscillation, and North Pacific Index, on snowfall-related climate parameters in the world's major ski areas. We found that in each of the studied areas, one or more large-scale climatic oscillations affected snowfall-related climate parameters. Understanding the predictability of such oscillations is high on the climate research agenda. If this research leads to improved predictability in the coming years, this could be combined with the knowledge summarized in our paper on the relationships between climatic oscillations and snow-related parameters to provide useful information for winter sports and other snow-related fields. © 2012 International Mountain Society.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)431-445
    JournalMountain Research and Development
    Volume32
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

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