A snow and ice melt seasonal prediction modelling system for Alpine reservoirs
Abstract. The timing and the volume of snow and ice melt in Alpine catchments are crucial for management operations of reservoirs and hydropower generation. Moreover, a sustainable reservoir operation through reservoir storage and flow control as part of flood risk management is important for downstream communities. Forecast systems typically provide predictions for a few days in advance. Reservoir operators would benefit if lead times could be extended in order to optimise the reservoir management. Current seasonal prediction products such as the NCEP (National Centers for Environmental Prediction) Climate Forecast System version 2 (CFSv2) enable seasonal forecasts up to nine months in advance, with of course decreasing accuracy as lead-time increases.
We present a coupled seasonal prediction modelling system that runs at monthly time steps for a small catchment in the Austrian Alps (Gepatschalm). Meteorological forecasts are obtained from the CFSv2 model. Subsequently, these data are downscaled to the Alpine Water balance And Runoff Estimation model AWARE running at monthly time step. Initial conditions are obtained using the physically based, hydro-climatological snow model AMUNDSEN that predicts hourly fields of snow water equivalent and snowmelt at a regular grid with 50 m spacing. Reservoir inflow is calculated taking into account various runs of the CFSv2 model. These simulations are compared with observed inflow volumes for the melting and accumulation period 2015.