Essay Example on The area that I will be looking at is the Canton of Valais

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The area that I will be looking at is the Canton of Valais located at 46 4 N 7 36 E There is a total area of 5 224 24km 2 with its highest point at 4 634m and its lowest part is at 372m This is a part of Switzerland located in the southwestern part of the country bordering France and Italy This part of Switzerland also borders the Alps Mountains the highest Mountain range that lies entirely in Europe The Canton of Valais separated the Pennie Alps from the Bernese Alps and is known for the specific mountain the Matterhorn which is one of the highest summits in the Alps Europe This area also has the wide glacial Rhone Valley There are quite a few glaciers in this area The Rhone river drains most of the area into Lake Generva Most of the area is valley floor valley side tributary valley or alps and high mountains Research Questions Hypotheses 1 How much snow on average does this area receive in the winter months of 2018 December February 2 What is the average speed of wind velocity in the winter months of 2018 December February 3 Do larger amounts of snowfall correlate to faster winds Larger than average amounts of snowfall mean that there were faster than average winds Meteorology

The Canton of Valais is one of the driest regions of Switzerland in part because of the seasonal foehn wind The foehn wind is a dry warm downslope wind As cool moist air approaches the alps from one side the moisture condensates out and the dry air continues down the other side of the mountain The foehn produces higher temperatures low cloud cover and extreme dryness The different peaks of the alps surrounding Valais creates a different climate than surrounding areas and a rain shadow for most of the region The Northern Alps areas will receive 150 400 cm of precipitation annually and The Southern Alps areas will receive 300 400cm annually Valais only gets around 50 80cm annually The area has many natural valleys that follow a basic valley weather pattern including upslope and downslope winds with small inversions possible However since many of the valleys in this area are wide the meteorological effect of valleys is not as strong is it normally would be The mountainous peaks are high enough that snow is very common and are often year round covered in snow The Valais area receives periodic flooding due to runoff from snowmelt on these peaks Instruments 1 For measuring the amount of snowfall that each winter month receives in 2018 I would use a bunch of scattered snow gauges Snow gauges gather and measure the amount of solid precipitation has fallen over the period desired They could be spread over the area of Valais from the lowest valleys to peaks in the alps To make up for some of the more difficult areas on the mountains the gauges would have extra wind shields for a more accurate collection of snow 



A double set of wind fences around the snow gauge has shown to provide more accurate measurements Because some of the area will still be difficult to measure I would also get a few ground based precipitation radars to at least monitor digitally the surrounding area for precipitation and possible amounts 2 For measuring the velocity of the winds I would purchase ground based wind lidar which would be horizontal scanning the surrounding areas Doppler Lidar would be the most successful to measure the wind speed because they would be measuring the frequency of the backscattered light This instrument would be best used in the valleys or lower parts of the mountainous areas for the most accurate results Moving up the mountains I think I would place more simple tower measurements to collect data on wind The towers on the higher parts of Valais would need to be slightly protected or heavy duty to withstand the elevation and rougher winds Map Key Blue Circle Snow Gauges with Wind Shields 17 Purple Circle Ground based Wind Lidar and Ground based Precipitation Radar 4 Red Circle Tower Measurements 4 Snow Gauges with Wind Shields 17 At about 2 000 a piece a month About 102 000 for all three months Ground based Wind Lidar and Ground based Precipitation Radar 4 At about 50 000 a month per system About 1 2Million Tower Measurements 4 At about 25 000 a month About 300 000 for all three months TOTAL 1 602 000 So now reflecting on the cost and having to look at the number of instruments I need for the measurements I think that the area of study was too big for the budget allotted With a small budget and a large area I have to spread out my instruments and it leaves gaps in data for areas of the Valais region Next time I would pick a smaller area to study the hypothesis and research questions that way I could use my budget more to focus on getting good and solid date for a couple towns instead of spreading out data for the entire county


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