Forecasting Avalanches in Alaska

Remote weather station at Mt. Roberts in Juneau, Alaska

Alaska Electric Light and Power has integrated two of Apogee Instruments' SN-500 Net Radiometers on the remote weather stations at Mt. Roberts and Snettisham Hydroelectric Power Plant for avalanche forecasting in the harsh environments of Juneau, Alaska. The company purchased the net radiometers in hopes that they would finally be able to switch these sites to a more accurate forecasting method, the SWISS snowpack forecasting model, which relies heavily on energy balance data. The new model will allow them to make more accurate forecasts by modeling what is going on in the snowpack and providing a highly accurate snow morphology through the collected data from the weather station.

Remote weather station at Snettisham Hydroelectric Power Plant in Juneau, Alaska SN-500 used for avalanch forecasting SN-500 low cost, power requirements, and heaters make it ideal for remote applications.

Net radiation data could not be collected at these sites previously due to the higher cost and power requirements of competing net radiometers; however, the SN-500's low cost, power requirements, and heaters made it ideal for these sites. The ability of the internal heaters to keep the sensor optical path clear of snow, ice, and rain while being powered by a solar panel has been depended on heavily to attain accurate data at these sites.

The built in heaters keep the SN-500 net radiometer free of ice and snow. SN-500 free of snow while powered to a solar panel to attain accurate data

Application Summary

Apogee Instruments' SN-500 Net Radiometer is used at remote locations for energy balance data used in avalanche forecasting.
Apogee Sensors Used
Alaska Electric Light & Power
Juneau, Alaska

"I would recommend the SN-500 for anyone needing an economical, reliable, low power sensor for measuring net radiation components in the field anywhere."
-Mike Janes
Avalanche Forecaster
Alaska Electric Light & Power