Home Archived April 13, 2016

U.S. Geological Survey

Maps, Imagery, and Publications Hazards Newsroom Education Jobs Partnerships Library About USGS Social Media

USGS Newsroom

USGS Newsroom  

Snowmelt models could be very useful this year; USGS researcher explains in Boston
Released: 5/27/1998

Contact Information:
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Office of Communication
119 National Center
Reston, VA 20192
Pat Jorgenson 1-click interview
Phone: 650-329-4011 | FAX: 650-329-4013

With one of the largest snowpacks on record in the Sierra and average to above-average amounts of snow in the Wasatch Range and Northern Rockies, scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey are gearing up for a busy June, when much of that snow will turn to water; perhaps too much in too short a time.

One of those scientists, Dr. David Peterson, has helped to develop computer models that forecast, with reasonable accuracy, the amount of snow that will melt in a certain place, over a given time period, under certain conditions. Peterson will describe these models at the spring meeting of the American Geophysical Union, May 28, in Boston, Mass.

Air temperature is the key factor in the statistical model, according to Peterson, and with the model that he and others have developed, the effect of sudden and sustained temperatures changes can be modeled to predict discharge, or runoff in individual stream basins.

With fresh snow falling as late as May 20 in the California Sierra and air temperatures generally remaining below 60 degrees, this year’s runoff will begin later than usual.

Editors: David Peterson will be available for interviews at the Hynes Convention Center, by contacting Marion Fisher in the the AGU newsroom at 617-954-3867.

The USGS serves the nation by providing reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life.

Subscribe to receive the latest USGS news releases.

**** www.usgs.gov ****

Links and contacts within this release are valid at the time of publication.


Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

USA.gov logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
URL: http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=1121
Page Contact Information: Ask USGS
Page Last Modified: 10/13/2005 9:38:39 AM