Snowmelt – the surface runoff from melting snow – is an essential water resource for communities and ecosystems. But extreme snow melt, which occurs when snow melts too rapidly over a short amount of time, can be destructive and deadly, causing floods, landslides and dam failures.
To better understand the processes that drive such rapid melting, researchers set out to map extreme snowmelt events over the last 30 years. Their findings are published in a new paper in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.
"When we talk about snowmelt, people want to know the basic numbers, just like the weather, but no one has ever provided anything like that before. It's like if nobody told you the maximum and minimum temperature or record temperature in your city," said study co-author Xubin Zeng, director of the UArizona Climate Dynamics and Hydrometeorology Center and a professor of atmospheric sciences. "We are the first to create a map that characterizes snowmelt across the U.S. Now, people can talk about the record snowmelt events over each small area of 2.5 miles by 2.5 miles."
Read more at: University of Arizona
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