Adjusting snow runoff correlation curves by use of autumn precipitation

TitleAdjusting snow runoff correlation curves by use of autumn precipitation
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference1948
AuthorsMacLean, D. A.
Conference Name16th Annual Western Snow Conference
Series TitleProceedings of the 16th Annual Western Snow Conference
Date PublishedApril 1948
PublisherWestern Snow Conference
Conference LocationReno, Nevada
KeywordsRunoff, Snowmelt, Statistical analysis, Water supply forecasting

Stream runoff from snow is affected by the moisture content of the soil beneath the snow cover. Soil moisture condition is largely determined by precipitation during the autumn, months before the snowpack accumulates. Records of precipitation for August, September and October for 7 years at the Birchbank area of the Columbia River Basin were averaged and the departure from average was obtained for each year. Departure from average was multiplied by 1.5 and these corrections were added to or subtracted from the snow water content of the basin on each April 1. A graph of corrected snow water content against total streamflow showed closer correlation than when using uncorrected water content. Similar corrections for streamflow in other areas using factors of 0.5 and 3.0 show similar improvements in correlation.