Roads in remote northerly areas are particularly vulnerable to the effects of harsh climate, and can be heavily affected by severe weather, avalanches and rockfalls leading to accidents or close calls every winter and by flooding from snow melt during spring. The needs of communities for continuous operation of transportation systems put demands on... More...
Roads in remote northerly areas are particularly vulnerable to the effects of harsh climate, and can be heavily affected by severe weather, avalanches and rockfalls leading to accidents or close calls every winter and by flooding from snow melt during spring. The needs of communities for continuous operation of transportation systems put demands on road authorities to try to keep the roads open as long as possible; closing the roads every time there is a small possibility of an avalanche or a debris flow cannot be considered an option. This also means that in the event of a closure the forewarning time is usually short. Transport on water in the northern periphery regions is also affected by cold, still weather leading to freezing of surface waters and the formation of thin ice. The ice causes problems for coastal shipping, e.g. ferries, and can affect the economic survival of local fish farming enterprises, as sea (and lake) cage fish farming can be damaged by the ice.
Specially designed and timely snow avalanche and high-resolution weather forecasts for roads and coastal waters in remote, peripheral regions can greatly improve transportation safety, as well as facilitate more economic management of activities in the local commercial sector, which are dependent on weather factors. The demand for such products has been steadily growing, with the public and civil defence requiring more information relevant for increasing the quality of decision making in periods of severe weather and weather-related hazards.
The project aims to combine the use of high-resolution weather forecasts, application models, satellite remotesensing data and observations to generate services for rural areas that will: a) enhance transportation safety, b) improve efficiency of road management and c) reduce the risk of weather related damages to infrastructure and economic activities.
The application models cover a range of natural phenomena and economic activities. These include 1) systematic avalanche forecasts for roads, 2) monitoring and modelling snow cover and conditions for transport safety and management and 3) modelling and forecasting of locally formed ice in fjords and on lakes for the shipping and/or cage fish farming industry.