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Title: A Framework to Delineate Precipitation-Runoff Regimes: Precipitation vs. Snowpack in the Western U.S.

Abstract

We propose a framework to classify precipitation events accompanied by snow process (precipitation-and-snow, or PAS events) into five regimes, based on the relative contributions of snowpack change and precipitation amount to the runoff response. This framework is applied to a regional climate simulation over the western U.S. to reveal the regions where snow process plays important roles. Over the western U.S., PAS events account for 50-90% of all the precipitation events. About 60-80% of PAS events feature snow accumulation, but snow melting frequently happens in high-elevation areas. Compared with snow accumulation events, snow melting events have a more limited spatial distribution. Different regimes peak in different months between early winter and late spring. Lastly, the impact of atmospheric rivers is investigated. Although accounting for only 2% of the grid-scale precipitation events, atmospheric rivers trigger significant snowmelt and contribute to 20% and 11% of light and heavy snow melting events, respectively.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [1];  [1]
  1. BATTELLE (PACIFIC NW LAB)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1580113
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-141385
DOE Contract Number:  
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Geophysical Research Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 46; Journal Issue: 22
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English

Citation Formats

Chen, Xiaodong, Duan, Zhuoran, Leung, Lai-Yung, and Wigmosta, Mark S. A Framework to Delineate Precipitation-Runoff Regimes: Precipitation vs. Snowpack in the Western U.S.. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1029/2019GL085184.
Chen, Xiaodong, Duan, Zhuoran, Leung, Lai-Yung, & Wigmosta, Mark S. A Framework to Delineate Precipitation-Runoff Regimes: Precipitation vs. Snowpack in the Western U.S.. United States. doi:10.1029/2019GL085184.
Chen, Xiaodong, Duan, Zhuoran, Leung, Lai-Yung, and Wigmosta, Mark S. Thu . "A Framework to Delineate Precipitation-Runoff Regimes: Precipitation vs. Snowpack in the Western U.S.". United States. doi:10.1029/2019GL085184.
@article{osti_1580113,
title = {A Framework to Delineate Precipitation-Runoff Regimes: Precipitation vs. Snowpack in the Western U.S.},
author = {Chen, Xiaodong and Duan, Zhuoran and Leung, Lai-Yung and Wigmosta, Mark S.},
abstractNote = {We propose a framework to classify precipitation events accompanied by snow process (precipitation-and-snow, or PAS events) into five regimes, based on the relative contributions of snowpack change and precipitation amount to the runoff response. This framework is applied to a regional climate simulation over the western U.S. to reveal the regions where snow process plays important roles. Over the western U.S., PAS events account for 50-90% of all the precipitation events. About 60-80% of PAS events feature snow accumulation, but snow melting frequently happens in high-elevation areas. Compared with snow accumulation events, snow melting events have a more limited spatial distribution. Different regimes peak in different months between early winter and late spring. Lastly, the impact of atmospheric rivers is investigated. Although accounting for only 2% of the grid-scale precipitation events, atmospheric rivers trigger significant snowmelt and contribute to 20% and 11% of light and heavy snow melting events, respectively.},
doi = {10.1029/2019GL085184},
journal = {Geophysical Research Letters},
number = 22,
volume = 46,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {11}
}

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