Snow Data for the Arctic

Funded Title: 
SnowDATA: Snow Datasets for Arctic Terrestrial Applications
Location: 
Alaska
Duration: 
July 15, 2012 to September 30, 2013

Detailed information on snow conditions is critical for understanding a wide range of hydrologic and ecosystem processes, including those related to surface energy and moisture stores and fluxes, along with subsequent impacts on vegetation, insects, mammals, birds, and fish. In Arctic Alaska, however, such snow datasets currently do not exist at the spatial and temporal scales required by end users such as scientists, land managers, and policy makers. In response, we will use an advanced snow modeling system to produce outputs including: spatially distributed estimates of liquid and solid (snowfall) precipitation, snowmelt, blowing-snow and static-surface sublimation, blowing and drifting snow flux, snowmelt runoff, snow depth, snow density, snow water equivalent, snow hardness, rain-on-snow events, and changes in snow season lengths across portions of the Arctic LCC. Other variables of interest will likely include: air temperature, wind speed and direction, relative humidity, surface (skin) temperature, incoming solar radiation, albedo, incoming and outgoing longwave radiation, latent and sensible heat fluxes, hydrologic budgets, winter soil microbial activity, and snow thermal characteristics. Additional output variables are possible depending on the interests of the end users (e.g. blowing snow visibility, wind chill temperature, mosquito activity index, etc.).