Articles | Volume 23, issue 9
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 23, 3765–3786, 2019
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-23-3765-2019
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 23, 3765–3786, 2019
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-23-3765-2019

Research article 18 Sep 2019

Research article | 18 Sep 2019

The sensitivity of modeled snow accumulation and melt to precipitation phase methods across a climatic gradient

Keith S. Jennings and Noah P. Molotch

Data sets

Meteorological data from benchmark stations at the Andrews Experimental Forest, 1957 to present W. A. McKee https://doi.org/10.6073/pasta/c96875918bb9c86d330a457bf4295cd9

Data from: Eleven years of mountain weather, snow, soil moisture and stream flow data from the rain-snow transition zone - the Johnston Draw catchment S. E. Godsey, D. G. Marks, P. R. Kormos, M. S. Seyfried, C. L. Enslin, J. P. McNamara, and T. E. Link https://doi.org/10.15482/USDA.ADC/1402076

Infilled climate data for C1, Saddle, and D1, 1990 - 2013, hourly K. Jennings, T. Kittel, and N. Molotch https://doi.org/10.6073/pasta/1538ccf520d89c7a11c2c489d973b232

Snow water equivalent data for Niwot Ridge and Green Lakes Valley, 1993 - ongoing M. Williams https://doi.org/10.6073/pasta/f62b0a3741737c871958cf7e63c089e0

Model code and software

Scientific colour maps (Version 4.0.0) F. Crameri https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.2649252

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Short summary
There is a wide variety of modeling methods to designate precipitation as rain, snow, or a mix of the two. Here we show that method choice introduces marked uncertainty to simulated snowpack water storage (> 200 mm) and snow cover duration (> 1 month) in areas that receive significant winter and spring precipitation at air temperatures at and near freezing. This marked uncertainty has implications for water resources management as well as simulations of past and future hydroclimatic states.