Nov 4, 2014

Sensitivity of snowpack storage to precipitation and temperature using spatial and temporal analog models

Charles H. Luce, Viviana Lopez‐Burgos, Zachary Holden
Water Resources Research
  • States that empirical sensitivity analyses are important for evaluation of the effects of a changing climate on water resources and ecosystems
  • Builds relatively strong models using spatial analogs to relate temperature and precipitation climatology to snowpack climatology (April 1 SWE, R2=0.87, and SRT, R2=0.81)
  • Finds that although the poorest temporal analog relationships were in areas showing the highest sensitivity to warming, spatial analog models showed consistent performance throughout the range of temperature and precipitation
  • Finds that slopes from the spatial relationships showed greater thermal sensitivity than the temporal analogs, and high elevation stations showed greater vulnerability using a spatial analog than shown in previous modeling and sensitivity studies
  • Concludes that the spatial analog models provide a simple perspective to evaluate potential futures and may be useful in further evaluation of snowpack with warming