Snow Research Center, CNRM / Meteo-France - CNRS, Grenoble, France.

A PhD position on downscaling of atmospheric fields for snow applications, is open to competition for a doctoral award until 6 June 2019. The PhD is to start in autumn 2019.

Project description:

Knowledge and forecast of meteorological and snow conditions in mountain areas are of crucial importance for several scientific and socio-economic stakeholders, and in particular for avalanche warning, and hydrological and hydropower forecasting.

While the current operational tool in the French mountains provides analyses and forecast of these conditions at the scale of the distinct mountain ranges and for different levels of altitudes, it fails by design to represent the strong spatial variability in snow conditions and avalanche hazard that sometimes develops at intra-massif scale. The current spatial scale is also too coarse to meet specific needs such as local management of roads or ski slopes exposed to avalanches.

Recent developments have shown that high-resolution weather forecasts at kilometric scale, can be used to drive detailed snowpack models and improve the representation of intra-massif snowpack variability. However, this kilometric resolution is still not optimal to account for local effects strongly influencing the evolution of the avalanche risk, in link with slope, wind-induced snow transport or interactions between topography and radiations.

The goal of the PhD is (i) to develop a method to further downscale kilometric atmospheric fields, and simulate snow conditions at a resolution of about 250m in complex topography (ii) to evaluate the benefits of the very high resolution for snow situations with high stakes, esp. related to avalanche hazard. These developments and evaluations will also examine the potential of ensemble weather forecasts at kilometric resolution for avalanche warning.

Info about the doctoral competition can be found here under PhD Fellowships.

For further information visit the Snow Research Center Website.

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