Sep 29, 2015

Trends in Snow Cover and Related Quantities at Weather Stations in the Conterminous United States

by
Noah Knowles
,
AMS: Journal of Climate
  • Uses trend tests, linear regression, and canonical correlation analysis to quantify changes in National Weather Service Cooperative Observer (COOP) snow depth data and derived quantities, precipitation, snowfall, and temperature over the study period 1950–2010
  • Finds that despite widespread warming, historical trends in snowfall and snow depth are generally mixed owing to competing influences of trends in precipitation
  • Finds that trends toward later snow-cover onset in the western half of the conterminous United States and earlier onset in the eastern half and a widespread trend toward earlier final meltoff of snow cover combined to produce trends toward shorter snow seasons in the eastern half of the United States and in the west and longer snow seasons in the Great Plains and southern Rockies
  • Finds that the annual total number of days with snow cover exhibited a widespread decline
  • Finds that most trends presented here took hold in the 1970s, consistent with the temporal pattern of global warming during the study period