This study examines snowfall event frequency and intensity, as measured at snow telemetry (SNOTEL) in-situ mountain instrument sites, during recently observed wet and dry years (e.g. 2011 and 2002, respectively) in the UCRB. Characteristics in event magnitude are spatiotemporally assessed across the sub-basins of the UCRB, with particular regard to total snow-water equivalent as an indicator of basin water supply. The trends in large snowfall event frequency over recent years are also assessed as indicators of regional climate variability.
A case study of specific large snowfall events then focuses on the atmospheric forcings of each event through a synoptic examination of surface and upper atmospheric dynamics. Factors such as moisture delivery mechanisms (e.g. atmospheric rivers), storm tracks, and atmospheric-oceanic teleconnections (e.g. ENSO, PDO) are also identified as contributors in determining event intensity and duration.