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<p><strong>Abstract.</strong> We present a minimal model of the glacier surface mass balance. The model relies solely on monthly precipitation and air temperatures as forcing. We first train the model individually for 15 glaciers with existing mass balance measurements. Based on a cross validation, we present a thorough assessment of the model's performance outside of the training period. The cross validation indicates that our model is robust, and our model's performance compares favorably todoi:10.5194/tc-6-71-2012 fatcat:tgc3vkvec5btli45ddatyh5cbe