Relationship between snow cover and atmospheric circulation, central North America, winter 1988

Chris Derksen, Kkevin Misurak, Ellsworth Ledrew, Joe Piwowar, Barry Goodison
1997 Annals of Glaciology  
The stochastic relationships between terrestrial snow water equivalent (SWE) and measures of the atmospheric circulation were investigated for the Canadian Prairies and the American Great Plains for the winter of 1988. Snow-cover extent, derived from EASE-grid SSM/I satellite data, and griddcd atmospheric data from the National Meteorological Center were averaged at five day intervals. Principal components analysis (PCA) were performed for the time series of SSM/I snow-cover imagery as well as
more » ... imagery as well as for 700 mb geopotential height and temperature, 500 mb height and 700–500 mb thickness. Canonical correlation analysis of the derived principal component weights was used to identify relationships between atmospheric variables and SWE. Results of the PCA indicate that a high degree of variance in upper air variables (>75%) can be explained by the first three principal components, while the first three SWE components account for over 90% of the variance in the original data. Results of the canonical correlation analysis show positive relationships between snow-cover accumulation and a meridional pressure distribution pattern, while snow ablation is linked to a zonal atmospheric pressure pattern.
doi:10.1017/s0260305500014269 fatcat:kf6tbkcnijconhit2gt4nt53gi