Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018

Before the snowfall

New research holds promise of predicting snowpack

Frank Gehrke measures snow levels in the mountains of El Dorado County. DWR

DWR

Phys.org

As farmers in the West decide what, when and where to plant, and urban water managers plan for water needs, they want to know how much water their community will get from melting snow in the mountains. New NOAA research is showing we can predict snow levels in the mountains in March some eight months in advance. This prediction can be down to the scale of a mountain range, which will improve regional water forecasts.

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Changes in winter humidity may affect snowpack

Phys.org

It's said on sticky summer days: "It's not the heat, it's the humidity." That holds true in the winter too, and could hold the key to the future of snowpack and water resources in the West. Climate change, researchers say, can tweak winter humidity up in some regions and down in others, which means that trends and patterns in humidity will be important to the future of snow.

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Study: Interacting glaciers may cause faster melt

Stanford University

A new Stanford-led study shows that a large and potentially unstable Antarctic glacier may be melting farther inland than previously thought and that this melting could affect the stability of another large glacier nearby — an important finding for understanding and projecting ice sheet contributions to sea-level rise.

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