20 Feb 2024
 | 20 Feb 2024
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

Operational and experimental snow observation systems in the upper Rofental: data from 2017 to 2023

Michael Warscher, Thomas Marke, Erwin Rottler, and Ulrich Strasser

Abstract. This publication presents a comprehensive hydrometeorological data set for three research sites in the upper Rofental (1891–3772 ma.s.l., Ötztal Alps, Austria) and is a companion publication to a data collection published in 2018: (Strasser et al., 2018). The time series presented here comprise data from 2017 to 2023 and originate from three meteorological and snow-hydrological stations at 2737, 2805, and 2919 ma.s.l. The fully equipped automatic weather stations include a specific set of sensors to continuously record snow cover properties. These are automatic measurements of snow depth, snow water equivalent, volumetric solid and liquid water content, snow density, layered snow temperature profiles, and snow surface temperature. One station is extended by a particular arrangement of two snow depth and water equivalent recording devices to observe and quantify wind-driven snow transport. They are installed at nearby wind-exposed and sheltered locations and are complemented by an acoustic-based snow drift sensor. We present data for temperature, precipitation, humidity, wind speed, and radiation fluxes and explore the continuous snow measurements by combined analyses of meteorological and snow data to show typical seasonal snow cover characteristics. The potential of the snow drift observations is demonstrated with examples of measured wind speeds, snow drift rates and redistributed snow amounts during an event in December 2020. The data complement the scientific monitoring infrastructure in the research catchment and represent a unique time series of high-altitude mountain weather and snow observations. They enable comprehensive insights into the dynamics of high altitude snow processes and are collected to support the scientific community, as well as operational warning and forecasting services.

Michael Warscher, Thomas Marke, Erwin Rottler, and Ulrich Strasser

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on essd-2024-45', Anonymous Referee #1, 25 Mar 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on essd-2024-45', Anonymous Referee #2, 15 Apr 2024
  • RC3: 'Comment on essd-2024-45', Anonymous Referee #3, 16 Apr 2024
Michael Warscher, Thomas Marke, Erwin Rottler, and Ulrich Strasser

Data sets

Continuous meteorological and snow hydrological measurements for 2013-2023 from three automatic weather stations (AWS) in the upper Rofental, Ötztal Alps, Austria Department of Geography, University of Innsbruck

Michael Warscher, Thomas Marke, Erwin Rottler, and Ulrich Strasser


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Short summary
In this manuscript we present a unique collection of weather and snow cover data from a high Alpine catchment. We installed three automatic weather monitoring stations in remote locations in the Austrian Alps and equipped them with new sensors to continuously measure a broad range of specific snow cover properties. The continuous observation of these snow properties over multiple winter seasons enables new insights for snow research and helps tackling snow hydrological research questions.