Climate service gives forecast on good snowmaking conditions to ski resorts

30.10.2019 9:22

Arctic Centre at the University of Lapland and Ruka Ski Resort are co-designing a climate service that provides a seasonal forecast on conditions for snowmaking during the entire skiing season. The service tells what is the most climate-friendly and profitable time for snowmaking.

Winter tourism relies on proper winter conditions for economically successful operations. Climate change is expected to delay the arrival of winter and natural snowfall also in Northern Finland. For ensuring early ski season start and maintaining snow conditions through the winter, ski resorts have increased the use of machine-made and stored snow. Early season snowmaking can be up to 30 times more expensive than in the cold mid-winter conditions. It is usually more efficient to make snow in mid-winter conditions and store it over the summer than it is to make snow in the early season conditions with temperatures barely below freezing.

A climate service for seasonal forecast on snow conditions is co-designed by a multidisciplinary team of Rukakeskus Ltd. and Arctic Centre at the University of Lapland. The climate data is provided by Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD) and the University of Hamburg. By active collaboration during the development process, the team has aimed to ensure that the climate service provides relevant information to Ruka and is user-friendly. A prototype of the climate service will be tested in Ruka Ski Resort during this ski season, which was opened October 4th. The results of the project will be published next Autumn. While the climate service is co-designed with Ruka, the climate service can offer substantial value also for other winter tourism companies in the future.

The climate service has been developed as a case study of the Blue-Action: Arctic Impact on Weather and Climate (2016–2021) project, which is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program. The project aims to improve the capacity of stakeholders to respond and adapt to the impacts of climate change on the environment and human activities in the Arctic, both in the short and longer term.

Watch the video:

Video presents the Ruka Ski Resort case study and climate service. The video was launched in Arctic Circle Assembly in Reykjavik on 12th October 2019.

For more information:
Researcher Ilona Mettiäinen, Blue-Action Project
Arctic Centre, University of Lapland
ilona.mettiainen(at), +358 40 484 4273

Blue-Action Project website.