Kenneth E. Kunkel, Michael Palecki, Leslie Ensor, Kenneth G. Hubbard, David Robinson, Kelly Redmond, David Easterling

American Meteorological Society

Published date June 13, 2008

Trends in twentieth-century US snowfall using a quality-controlled dataset

  • Undertakes a quality assessment of daily manual snowfall data for all U.S. long-term stations and their suitability for climate research
  • Identifies a set of stations believed to be suitable for analysis of trends
  • Finds that since the 1920s, snowfall has been declining in the West and the mid-Atlantic coast
  • Finds that in some places during recent years the decline has been more precipitous, strongly trending downward along the southern margins of the seasonal snow region, the southern Missouri River basin, and parts of the Northeast
  • Finds that snowfall has been increasing since the 1920s in the lee of the Rocky Mountains, the Great Lakes–northern Ohio Valley, and parts of the north-central United States
  • States these areas that are in opposition to the overall pattern of declining snowfall seem to be associated with specific dynamical processes, such as upslope snow and lake-effect snow that may be responding to changes in atmospheric circulation