A New View of Snowfall: A Multi-Year Global Snowfall Census from Spaceborne Radar

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Tuesday, 6 January 2015: 11:00 AM
231ABC (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Mark S. Kulie, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI; and N. B. Wood, T. S. L'Ecuyer, and R. Bennartz

The launch of CloudSat and its Cloud Profiling Radar in 2006, followed by the recent launch of the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission in 2014, has ushered in a new era of spaceborne precipitation observing platforms that cover the higher latitudes. These recent spaceborne observational capabilities have produced valuable datasets to help alleviate precipitation estimation data voids in regions that receive predominantly snowfall at higher latitudes. This study will present results from a multi-year snowfall dataset derived from primarily CloudSat observations, including a near-global snowfall census partitioned into different snowfall modes (e.g., deep synoptically-generated snow versus shallow snow), regional and global snowfall accumulation statistics, interannual snowfall variability, and a snowfall extrema analysis. The authors will also illustrate the potential utility of spaceborne datasets for model evaluation efforts and will stress the importance of uninterrupted spaceborne radar datasets to rigorously study snowfall pattern changes in high-latitude regions that are extremely sensitive to a warming climate.