5B.1 Building Seasonal Predictions of Western United States Snowpack

Saturday, 29 July 2017: 10:30 AM
Constellation F (Hyatt Regency Baltimore)
Sarah Kapnick, GFDL, Princeton, NJ; and X. Yang, G. A. Vecchi, T. L. Delworth, R. Gudgel, S. Malyshev, P. C. D. Milly, E. Shevliakova, and S. Underwood

Water resources in the western United States rely heavily upon mountain snowpack for the storage of winter precipitation and spring through fall water supply via snowmelt runoff when precipitation is otherwise scarce. There is a public perception that summertime El Niño states can predict springtime snowpack, yet our analysis shows this not to be the case for most of the American West. We explore seasonal snowpack prediction using snowpack observations and observed climate indicies. Additionally, we use a suite of global climate models developed at the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory with various atmospheric / land resolutions to explore seasonal prediction skill of western United States snowpack. We find that the dynamical global coupled models outperform the static statistical predictors, with important implications for future prediction system development.
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