Abstract : K.2
Snow cover change scenarios for the Tatra Mountains in Slovakia

Milan Lapin, Pavol Fasko, Jozef Pecho, Marián Melo
lapin@fmph.uniba.sk
Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Informatics, Comenius University Bratislava

The Tatra Mountains (2655 m a.s.l.) cover the area of about 7 thousands sq km in Slovakia, including valleys. Because of upwind and lee effects the snow conditions are very complex there. Some upper slopes have even more than 250 cm maximum of snow cover with very high probability of depths above 50 cm from December to March. On the other hand, in the area of Popradska hollow (about 700 m a.s.l.) the snow cover occurrence is relatively low also in January and February. Regular observations of daily snow cover, new snow and precipitation totals have started in this region at about 100 stations in 1921 (data from 25 stations are complete up to present). Air temperature measurements are to disposal from 3 stations. We consider the 85-year series of data as enough long for statistical analysis of variability and trends of basic snow cover characteristics on the one side and for preparing of the GCMs-Analogue scenarios of future snow conditions change on the other. In the paper the correlation analysis between monthly characteristics of daily snow cover, air temperature and precipitation totals is presented. These results are applied on the GCMs based scenarios of daily air temperature and daily precipitation changes until 2100. It was found that due to the increase in air temperature the significant decrease in snow cover characteristics is expected mainly at the altitudes below 1100 m a.s.l. On the other hand the expected increase in winter precipitation totals by about 20% will probably cause the increase of snow cover depth and occurrence mainly at altitudes above 900 m a.s.l. This region is quite reach in ski resorts, at least 30 sites with good infrastructure, including technical snow, are situated there. Some of them have the base altitude below 600 m a.s.l., but some reach the upper altitude above 1600 m a.s.l. Presented results can be used for an economical profitability assessment of individual ski resorts during any 10-year periods in the next century.