Abstract : 3K.1
Analysis of recent meteorological configurations responsible for substantial snowfalls in the Trentine sector of the Adige valley bottom (eastern italian Alps)

Roberto Barbiero, Mauro Gaddo, Carlo Bisci
Provincia Autonoma di Trento - Ufficio Previsione ed Organizzazione

Aim of this presentation is to analyse the synoptic conditions favourable to snowfall with more than 10 cm fresh snow cover in the bottom of the Trentine sector of the Adige Valley. Following the abundant and reiterated snowfalls in the study area during the 2005-2006 winter season and the many discomforts to the population and mainly to the road traffic, an accurate study of such events resulted necessary for a reliable forecast. The valley orientation in a NNE-SSW direction lets the Mediterranean warm-humid air masses to get in as far as the main headwater divide (Brenner Pass) and to make its climate relatively mild. Moreover, such humid air inflows bring mean annual precipitation of about 800-1000 mm that gradually decreses from the lower valley mouth to the main divide. The precipitation regime consists of rainfalls in spring and autumn whereas a strong absolute minimum occurs between December and Febraury when snowfalls are more likely on the valley floor. In fact, the vally is annually subjected to warm advection snowfalls, though infrequent and scarce, between November and mid April. The study area is about 80 km long with elevation ranging from 130 and 230 m a.s.l. All the snowfall events observed from 1980 to 2006 were analysed by using the data of the Civil Protection Authority of Trento Province, i.e. Trento Roncafort (194 n a.s.l.), Trento Laste (312 m a.s.l.), Rovereto (203 m a.s.l.) and Ala (197 m a.s.l.) meteo stations. Through the study and analysis of ground and at the 500 hPa geopotential meteo maps, satellite images, thermodynamic diagrams of the nearest sounding stations and the data of the nivometeorological stations, the synoptic types that characterised the snowfalls were studied and classified and a clusterisation was made. For each of the synoptic types defined the conditions for a quantification of the mean characteristic meteo parameters were anlysed in order to obtain a reliable forecast of intense snowfalls on the valley bottom.