Snowpack module

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REQUIREMENTS
Permission Submission Moderator and higher
Connectivity Online and offline

This document describes the functionality of the 'snowpack' workflow module and how to properly configure it for a workflow.

Required permissions:

Required connectivity:

  • You need to be online to create a new or edit an existing workflow template.
  • If you are online when you initiate a workflow instance the fields will be prefilled from the last workflow instance with the same location(s). Once the workflow instance has been loaded, you can complete the workflow in an offline mode.
  • You can initiate a workflow instance when you are offline, and the fields will be filled with the latest cached information on the computer. This will be up to date unless workflows have been submitted using other computers since you were last online on the computer you are currently using.
  • If you submit whilst offline the workflow will be uploaded to the InfoEx server the next time you are online. WARNING: If the internet connection is lost whilst this is being done, the workflow will not be submitted and you will lose the data.

Functionality

Including the snowpack module in a workflow template allows you to keep track of the general snowpack structure and the condition of persistent weak layers (PWLs) for the location(s) that is associated with your workflow. The intent of the snowpack workflow module is to provide an electronic equivalent of the generalized snow profile that many avalanche safety operations draw on a whiteboard in their office.

NOTE Please note that the snowpack description entered in the Snowpack module is different from the Snowpack observations entered via the Observations module or the 'OBSERVATIONS' menu, which is intended for actual snow profile observations.

The data entry fields of this workflow module are automatically pre-populated with the last snowpack and PWL information that was submitted for the location(s) associated with the workflow.

NOTE If you have multiple workflows for a location (e.g., AM and PM meetings), the information is pre-populated from the last time you submitted any workflow for the location. For example, in a regular rotation, the snowpack step in the PM meeting is pre-populated with information from the AM meeting and the next AM meeting is pre-populated with information from the PM meeting of the previous day.

You can only have a single Snowpack module step in a workflow template.

Any workflow template with a Snowpack module step will automatically have a Workflow summary step added at the end of the workflow. This summary allows users to review their observations and assessments before they are submitted.

The snowpack description and PWL assessments submitted via the Snowpack module are associated with the location(s) specified for the workflow in 'Manage Workflow Definitions'.

It is possible to enter the snowpack description and PWL information in the workflow module without internet connectivity.

Layout

Fig. 1: Snowpack workflow module general description of snowpack structure and list of PWLs in bottom half of screen.

The snowpack module consists of (Fig. 1):

  • A free-form text field for the general description of the local snowpack structure
  • A list of PWLs representing an idealized snow profile that is sorted the same way as in the snowpack from younger PWLs at the top to older layers towards the bottom.

Click on the PWL's heading to open its data fields.

To add a new PWL, click on the New PWL button. Click here for more information on how to create a new PWL.

To make a PWL disappear from the idealized snow profile, set its status to 'Inactive'. The next time that you complete a snowpack workflow step, the particular PWL will not be included in the profile anymore. Any inactive PWLs can be recovered and added to the profile again (e.g.,when the PWLs become active again in the spring) by clicking on the Add Inactive button and selecting the desired PWL from the list of inactive PWLs. PWLs that have been set to 'inactive' are not showing in the InfoEx report.

Settings

Fig. 2: Snowpack workflow module settings

The snowpack workflow module has the following settings (Fig. 2):

  • Name
    Name of the workflow step shown in the header of the workflow. It is recommended that you choose a short name (e.g., 'Snpk' instead of 'Snowpack and PWLs') to keep the navigation bar of the workflow as tidy as possible.

Information shared in InfoEx

All of the information entered in this workflow module is shared within the InfoEx in the following manner:

  • The description of the local snowpack structure is presented in the 'Snowpack Description' table of reports.
  • The PWL assessments are presented in the 'Snowpack Description' and 'Persistent Weak Layers' tables of reports.
  • The assessments are presented in reports under the location(s) that were associated with the workflow.
  • For a given day, reports only show the latest submitted assessments for a workflow location. For example, if you include the snowpack module both in your AM and PM workflow, reports will only show one of these assessments. Depending on the time of the day, it will be either the AM or PM assessments.

Other workflow modules

Functionality tested by

  • Dec. 24, 2013: Pascal Haegeli