Western United States Snow Droughts during the Common Era

Authors: Bethany Coulthard*, University of Nevada Las Vegas, Kevin J Anchukaitis, University of Arizona, Gregory T Pederson, USGS, Jay Alder, USGS, Steven Hostetler, USGS, Stephen Gray, USGS Alaska Climate Science Center
Topics: Paleoenvironmental Change, Water Resources and Hydrology, Cryosphere
Keywords: Snow drought, water resources, dendrochronology, paleoclimatology
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Marshall East, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Snow droughts and resulting meltwater supply deficits are increasingly impacting the western United States as a result of anthropogenic climate change. But, water supply forecasting and management is limited by large uncertainties around long-term natural ranges of snow drought variability, especially at regional to local scales important for decision-making. We present the first paleoclimate analysis of snow drought spanning the Common Era, based on the tree ring-derived Western Cordilleran Snow Atlas and at high (4x4 km2) space-time resolution. Our results include probabilistic assessments of snow drought durations, magnitudes, and intensities at management-relevant space and timescales over the past 2000 years.

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