21st Conference on Climate Variability and Change


Snowfall changes in California's Sierra Nevada Mountains

John Christy, Univ. of Alabama, Huntsville, AL; and J. J. Hnilo

A complete time series of annual snowfall totals in the southern Sierra Nevada mountains of California for a single station, Huntington Lake (HL), is reconstructed for 1916-2007. A reconstruction is (a) necessary because HL data after 1972 are missing and (b) possible because nearby stations reveal high correlations with HL, two above 0.90. The results show mean annual snowfall in HL is 606 cm with an insignificant trend of +2.2 cm (+0.4%) 13.3 cm decade-1. Similar positive but insignificant trends for spring snowfall were also calculated. Annual stream flow trends for the region again were insignificantly positive for the same period. These results combined with published temperature time series, which also reveal no significant trends, form a consistent picture of no remarkable changes in the snowfall of the southern Sierra Nevada mountains of California since the early 20th century.

Session 9B, Observed changes in climate - II
Wednesday, 14 January 2009, 10:30 AM-12:00 PM, Room 129B

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