Spring break can be a good time for ski trips — the days are longer and a little warmer.
Spring break can be a good time for ski trips — the days are longer and a little warmer. But if people are booking their spring skiing trips the fall before, it’s hard to know which areas will have the best snow coverage later in the season.
Researchers who study water resources also want to know how much snow an area will get in a season. The total snowpack gives scientists a better idea of how much water will be available for hydropower, irrigation and drinking later in the year.
A team led by researchers at the University of Washington has found that in some western states, the amount of snow already on the ground by the end of December is a good predictor of how much total snow that area will get. This prediction works well in northern states such as Alaska, Oregon and Washington, as well as in parts of Utah, Wyoming and Colorado. Other states, such as California, Nevada, New Mexico and Arizona, were harder to predict — these regions either had too much variation in their weather patterns and/or got the most of their precipitation after December.
The researchers published these results Sept. 12 in Geophysical Research Letters.
Read more at University of Washington
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