Seasonal Runoff Forecasts for Hydropower Based on Remote Sensing

TitleSeasonal Runoff Forecasts for Hydropower Based on Remote Sensing
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1995
AuthorsMartinec J., Rango A.
JournalWestern Snow Conference 1995
Start Page1
Date Published04/1995

In this study, the target of seasonal runoff forecasts for April through September is the inflow into the reservoir of the Swiss hydroelectric station at Sedrun and the river flow for the run-of-the-river station at Tavanasa. The catchments are situated in the Swiss Alps at 1300 - 3200 m a.s.l. so that snow is an important runoff factor. Snow reserves on 1 April can be reconstituted from satellite snow cover monitoring during the snowmelt period. In real time, point measurements of the snow water equivalent on 31 March serve as indices to select a snow cover of a past year evaluated from monitoring. Based on snow reserves and expected precipitation, monthly runoff volumes are forecasted on 31 March and updated after satellite overflights. Errors in 1993 and 1994 resulted from unusually warm temperature and heavy rainfalls at the end of the snow melt season in September. More reliable forecasts improve hydropower generation and help to achieve better prices on the electricity market.