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Picture of the Day

Measuring snow persistence can help predict streamflow

With warming climates around the world, many regions are experiencing changes in snow accumulation and persistence. Historically, researchers and water managers have used snow accumulation amounts to predict streamflow, but this can be challenging to measure across mountain environments. In a new study, a team of researchers found that snow persistence -- the amount of time snow remains on the ground -- can be used to map patterns of annual streamflow in dry parts of the Western United States. The ultimate goal of this research is to determine how melting snow affects the flow of rivers and streams, which has an impact on agriculture, recreation and people's everyday lives. Scientists said the findings may be useful for predicting streamflow in drier regions around the world, including in the Andes Mountains in South America or the Himalayas in Asia. The research is the first of its kind to explicitly link snow persistence and water resources using hard data. Similar research has only been conducted using computer-generated models.

Visit Website | Image credit: John Hammond/Colorado State University