High water of 2021: hydrological situation according to satellite observations of Altai State University

13 April 2021 Department of Information and Media Communications
The Department of Emergency Monitoring and Forecasting of Altai State University and Directorate for the Provision of Measures in the Field of Civil Defense, Emergency Situations and Fire Safety in Altai Krai reports about the operational hydrological situation in Altai Krai.

Today, a number of districts of Altai Krai are under special control. Basically, the concern is caused by floodplain zones in the basins of the Charysh and Alei rivers. Active snow melting and breakup of river ice is associated with the risks of flooding of low-lying areas adjacent to the river, erosion of roads and dams, occurrence of congestion on small rivers with water outlet to settlements. So, in Rubtsovskiy district, flooding of the settlement was established. Veseloyarsk, Novosklyuha; in Bystroistoky district, flooding near the settlement of Novopokrovka; in Petropavlovsky region, flooding near the settlement of Pautovo, Zeleny Dol; in Ust-Kalmansky district, flooding near the settlement of Buranovo.

We talked to Anatoly Lagutin, Head of the Department for Monitoring and Forecasting of Emergencies, Head of the Department of Radiophysics and Theoretical Physics at the Institute of Digital Technologies, Electronics and Physics, Altai State University.

- Anatoly! The nature of the passage of the spring flood is determined by many factors. How is the necessary  information base on these factors for forecasting formed?

- The main factors that determine the nature of the passage of the spring flood are soil moistening in autumn and its freezing in winter, the moisture content of snow at the beginning of intense snow melting, ice thickness and water level in rivers, as well as the meteorological situation that will develop during the flood period. Since the beginning of the winter period, data on key factors are formed by the department based on the results of processing operational satellite information in the visible, infrared and microwave ranges, which is received by two ground stations from 4 satellites, as well as modeling weather characteristics. Data of the Altai CGMS on the depth of soil freezing, ice thickness and levels at gauging stations are also required.

- And what about where there is no snow in the region?

- The structure of the snow cover is shown in one of the figures. It is easy to see that more than half of Altai Krai is already snow-free.

- What should we expect in the coming days?

- Our forecast data show that from 14 to the evening of April 18, the average daily temperatures will be positive. During this period, the process of destruction of the snow cover and an increase in the volume of inflow will continue, which will lead to a slight increase in the water level and the expansion of the zone without snow. However, on the night of April 18, a cold front is expected to arrive. This will lead to a sharp decrease in the average daily temperature - it will become negative. Precipitation forecasted during this period will be mainly in the form of snow. It is clear that on these days, April 19-20, there will be a significant slowdown in the processes of snow melting and the flow of melt water into river basins. Nature gives a pause to the flood process in Altai!

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