53 Thirty-plus (30+) Years of Snowstorm Climatology Obtained From MERRA Reanalysis

Monday, 11 January 2016
Kwo-Sen Kuo, GSFC, Greenbelt, MD; and M. L. Rilee, A. Oloso, and R. Ramachandran

Handout (3.1 MB)

Thirty-plus years of blizzard-like snowstorms are identified and individually tracked using NASA's Modern Era Retrospective-analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA) reanalysis hourly data with a spatial resolution of half degree (in latitude) by two-thirds of a degree (in longitude). We have gathered not only summary statistics for all storms, such as frequency distributions of storm duration and cumulative area coverage, but also per-event statistics for each storm, e.g. beginning/ending times, hourly locations, and hourly mean snowfall intensities. This work is greatly facilitated by a Big-Data technology, SciDB.

We have constructed a Google Maps application (App) marking the hourly locations of each snowstorm and annotating them with hourly statistics. Moreover, whenever coincident data granules of relevant satellite remote-sensing observations are found within the NASA metadata repository, i.e. EOS Clearing House (ECHO), the FTP URLs of these data granules are also included as annotations to corresponding hourly locations. Since the App runs on the server side and utilizes browser-based visualization, it can be executed on smart phones. With such an App, researchers studying snowstorms will be able to conveniently find the storms matching their research interest and criteria. In addition, they can easily and quickly obtain coincident data granules from NASA's vast satellite remote sensing data holdings.

There are other more far-reaching implications with this type of effort, which we will elucidate in our presentation.

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