Historic Analysis of the Snow to Total Precipitation Ratio for Virginia

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Sunday, 4 January 2015
Michael L. Marston Jr., Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

The monthly snow-to-total precipitation ratios (S/R) were found for 57 stations located in Virginia for 61 years (1952-2013). These ratios were statistically analyzed against the minimum and maximum temperatures for the stations, and three teleconnection indices: NAO, PNA, and Nino3.4. For all variables, December, January and February monthly values were computed, as well as a season average. The three months were the only three looked at for this study. The aim of this research was to find trends in S/R, and to seek possible correlations from other variables. The findings may interest and provide benefits to ski resorts, water resource managers and the department of transportation. The data were analyzed and mathematical computations were performed in FORTRAN. Minitab was used for the statistical analysis of the research. The statistical results did show some trends and correlations. Depending on the variable that S/R was compared to, some statistical significance was exhibited. The strongest statistical significance was displayed when the S/R was evaluated against temperature, minimum and maximum, and the North Atlantic Oscillation.