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Rain-on-snow events in the western United States

Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society

By:
, , and
DOI: 10.1175/BAMS-88-3-319

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Abstract

Rain-on-snow events pose a significant flood hazard in the western United States. This study provides a description of the spatial and temporal variability of the frequency of rain-on-snow events for 4318 sites in the western United States during water years (October through September) 1949-2003. Rain-on-snow events are found to be most common during the months of October through May; however, at sites in the interior western United States, rain-on-snow events can occur in substantial numbers as late as June and as early as September. An examination of the temporal variability of October through May rain-on-snow events indicates a mixture of increasing and decreasing trends in rain-on-snow events across the western United States. Decreasing trends in rain-on-snow events are most pronounced at lower elevations and are associated with trends toward fewer snowfall days and fewer precipitation days with snow on the ground. Rain-on-snow events are more (less) frequent in the northwestern (southwestern) United States during La Nin??a (El Nin??o) conditions. Additionally, increases in temperature in the western United States appear to be contributing to decreases in the number of rain-on-snow events for many sites through effects on the number of days with snowfall and the number of days with snow on the ground. ?? 2007 American Meteorological Society.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Rain-on-snow events in the western United States
Series title:
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society
DOI:
10.1175/BAMS-88-3-319
Volume
88
Issue:
3
Year Published:
2007
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society
First page:
319
Last page:
328
Number of Pages:
10