9B.3 Future Changes in Snowstorms over North America

Wednesday, 15 January 2020: 2:00 PM
154 (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
Walker S. Ashley, Northern Illinois Univ., DeKalb, IL; and A. M. Haberlie and V. A. Gensini

Snow storms and other winter weather events can affect all sectors of the economy, as well as produce considerable sensible weather effects on flora and fauna. Assessing how these snow events—which can run the spectrum from minor snow accumulations, to a winter storm, to a crippling blizzard—may change in the future has not been assessed at the storm scale across a continental domain. We investigate the contemporary central and eastern North America snow-event climatology and how that climatology may change during the latter 21st century using a unique event-tracking algorithm on numerical simulation output produced by Liu et al. (2017). Snow events are tracked using high-resolution snow water equivalent output for a historical (2000–2013) and future (forced under Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 8.5) period. We reveal how different snowfall events of various accumulation thresholds change in the future, as well as how snow event contribution to overall snowfall totals may change. Ultimately, future changes in snow-producing events are an important marker for how climate change may affect the local to regional cryosphere. Any changes in these events and their contribution to the cryosphere could affect snow cover-albedo feedbacks, surface energy budgets, the water cycle, water resources, and physical, biological, and social environments.
- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner