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Spatial variability and trends in observed snow depth over North America

TitleSpatial variability and trends in observed snow depth over North America
Publication TypeManual Entry
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsDyer, Jamie L., and Thomas L. Mote
GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS
Volume33
Date PublishedAUG 31
PublisherAMER GEOPHYSICAL UNION
Place Published2000 FLORIDA AVE NW, WASHINGTON, DC 20009 USA
ISSN0094-8276
Abstract

This study uses a gridded dataset of daily U. S. and Canadian surface observations from 1960-2000 to study regional spatial and temporal variability and trends in snow depth across North America. Analysis shows minimal change in North American snow depth through January, with regions of decreasing snow depths beginning in late January. These regional decreases grow in intensity and extent through March and into April, implying an earlier onset of spring melt. The region showing the greatest decreases in snow depth occurs in central Canada, along a line from the Yukon Territory in northwestern Canada to the Great Lakes region. The regional decreases in spring snow depth across central Canada are likely a result of more rapid melt of shallower winter snowpacks, evident through shallower snow cover (2-10 cm) during May and October and a decrease in extent of deeper snowpacks (> 40 cm) through March and April.

DOI10.1029/2006GL027258
Citation Key1085
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Community Notes

"The region showing the greatest
decreases in snow depth occurs in central Canada, along a
line from the Yukon Territory in northwestern Canada to the
Great Lakes region. The regional decreases in spring snow
depth across central Canada are likely a result of more rapid
melt of shallower winter snowpacks, evident through
shal l ower snow cover ( 2 – 10 cm) during May and
October and a decrease in extent of deeper snowpacks
(>40 cm) through March and April."

"The more rapid decrease in snow depth in the spring across
central Canada is likely a result of shallower winter snow
packs due to temperature and precipitation variations,
caused by a decrease in the frequency of extratropical
cyclones traveling from northwestern Canada southeast
across the Great Lakes combined with a general increase
in spring temperatures."