From: University of Texas at Austin
Published December 7, 2016 11:11 AM

Snow Data from Satellites Improves Temperature Predictions, UT Researchers Show

Researchers with The University of Texas at Austin have found that incorporating snow data collected from space into computer climate models can significantly improve seasonal temperature predictions.

The findings, published in November in Geophysical Research Letters, a publication of the American Geophysical Union, could help farmers, water providers, power companies and others that use seasonal climate predictions – forecasts of conditions months in the future – to make decisions. Snow influences the amount of heat that is absorbed by the ground and the amount of water available for evaporation into the atmosphere, which plays an important role in influencing regional climate.

“We’re interested in providing more accurate climate forecasts because the seasonal timescale is quite important for water resource management and people who are interested in next season’s weather,” said Peirong Lin, the lead author of the study and a graduate student at the UT Jackson School of Geosciences.

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