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Trends in Twentieth-Century U. S. Snowfall Using a Quality-Controlled Dataset

TitleTrends in Twentieth-Century U. S. Snowfall Using a Quality-Controlled Dataset
Publication TypeManual Entry
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsKunkel, Kenneth E., Michael Palecki, Leslie Ensor, Kenneth G. Hubbard, David Robinson, Kelly Redmond, and David Easterling
Date PublishedJAN
Place Published45 BEACON ST, BOSTON, MA 02108-3693 USA

{A quality assessment of daily manual snowfall data has been undertaken for all U. S. long-term stations and their suitability for climate research. The assessment utilized expert judgment on the quality of each station. Through this process, the authors have identified a set of stations believed to be suitable for analysis of trends. Since the 1920s, snowfall has been declining in the West and the mid-Atlantic coast. 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. 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. 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.}

Citation Key1084
Community Notes

"However, as our lake-effect snowbelt example shows, it is also clear that the snowfall time series are not homogeneous in some cases because of spatial variations on small scales that are highly unlikely to be real. Careful (and time consuming) inspection of the data and histories of individual stations appears to be necessary to identify quality snow stations suitable for trend analysis on a local scale."