85th AMS Annual Meeting

Thursday, 13 January 2005: 8:45 AM
Northern Hemisphere spring warming during the past five decades: links to snow cover losses.
Dan Cayan, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego /U.S. Geological Survey, La Jolla, CA; and M. Dettinger
A feature of the observed Northern Hemisphere warming during the past few decades is the accentuated warming of the continents during winters and springs. In this paper, we examine strong warming trends during March and April in the eastern and western sectors of North America and in eastern and northern Eurasia. These trends occur at most latitudes of the extratropics. The temperature increases have coincided with losses in snow cover so that, in many instances, unusually warm months coincide with, and even are preceded by, anomalously depleted snow cover. In western North America, warming trends are found for both dry days and wet days, indicating that the warming has encompassed a variety of atmospheric circulations and influences both the deposition and melt of snow.

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