Event Title

Assessing the Sensitivity of Wasatch Mountain Snowfall to Future Climate Temperature

Presenter Information

John Horel
Leigh Jones

Location

Eccles Conference Center

Event Website

http://water.usu.edu/

Start Date

4-2-2009 8:40 AM

End Date

4-2-2009 9:00 AM

Description

Since global climate simulations are unable to resolve narrow mountain ranges (such as the Wasatch of northern Utah), lower confidence is generally given to the specifics of the model precipitation estimates in such areas. The objective of this study is to isolate the potential impact of future temperature changes in the intermountain West upon winter precipitation. We assume that general circulation models are able to resolve year-to-year regional variations in mid-tropospheric fields such as temperature and wind, although biases between rawinsonde observations and the present climate simulations are evident locally. Statistical downscaling approaches are tested using present climate simulations and then applied to future greenhouse gas emission scenario simulations. The change in percentage of precipitation falling as rain rather than snow per degree Celsius increase in temperature is estimated. Implications for the rapidly growing population centers of the western United States dependent on winter snowpack will be discussed.

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Apr 2nd, 8:40 AM Apr 2nd, 9:00 AM

Assessing the Sensitivity of Wasatch Mountain Snowfall to Future Climate Temperature

Eccles Conference Center

Since global climate simulations are unable to resolve narrow mountain ranges (such as the Wasatch of northern Utah), lower confidence is generally given to the specifics of the model precipitation estimates in such areas. The objective of this study is to isolate the potential impact of future temperature changes in the intermountain West upon winter precipitation. We assume that general circulation models are able to resolve year-to-year regional variations in mid-tropospheric fields such as temperature and wind, although biases between rawinsonde observations and the present climate simulations are evident locally. Statistical downscaling approaches are tested using present climate simulations and then applied to future greenhouse gas emission scenario simulations. The change in percentage of precipitation falling as rain rather than snow per degree Celsius increase in temperature is estimated. Implications for the rapidly growing population centers of the western United States dependent on winter snowpack will be discussed.

https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/runoff/2009/AllAbstracts/20