Publication Abstracts

Kapnick and Hall 2010

Kapnick, S., and A. Hall, 2010: Observed climate-snowpack relationships in California and their implications for the future. J. Climate, 23, 3446-3456, doi:10.1175/2010JCLI2903.1.

A study of the California Sierra Nevada snowpack has been conducted using snow station observations and reanalysis surface temperature data. Monthly snow water equivalent (SWE) measurements were combined from two datasets to provide sufficient data from 1930 to 2008. The monthly snapshots are used to calculate peak snow mass timing for each snow season. Since 1930, there has been an overall trend toward earlier snow mass peak timing by 0.6 days per decade. The trend toward earlier timing also occurs at nearly all individual stations. Even stations showing an increase in 1 April SWE exhibit the trend toward earlier timing, indicating that enhanced melting is occurring at nearly all stations. Analysis of individual years and stations reveals that warm daily maximum temperatures averaged over March and April are associated with earlier snow mass peak timing for all spatial and temporal scales included in the dataset. The influence is particularly pronounced for low accumulation years indicating the potential importance of albedo feedback for the melting of shallow snow. The robustness of the early spring temperature influence on peak timing suggests the trend toward earlier peak timing is attributable to the simultaneous warming trend (0.1°C/decade since 1930, with an acceleration in warming in later time periods). Given future scenarios of warming in California, one can expect acceleration in the trend toward earlier peak timing; this will reduce the warm season storage capacity of the California snowpack.

Export citation: [ BibTeX ] [ RIS ]

BibTeX Citation

@article{ka09100s,
  author={Kapnick, S. and Hall, A.},
  title={Observed climate-snowpack relationships in California and their implications for the future},
  year={2010},
  journal={J. Climate},
  volume={23},
  pages={3446--3456},
  doi={10.1175/2010JCLI2903.1},
}

[ Close ]

RIS Citation

TY  - JOUR
ID  - ka09100s
AU  - Kapnick, S.
AU  - Hall, A.
PY  - 2010
TI  - Observed climate-snowpack relationships in California and their implications for the future
JA  - J. Climate
VL  - 23
SP  - 3446
EP  - 3456
DO  - 10.1175/2010JCLI2903.1
ER  -

[ Close ]

• Return to 2010 Publications

• Return to Publications Homepage