Has the Annual Point Snowfall on the Canadian Prairie Increased or Decreased

TitleHas the Annual Point Snowfall on the Canadian Prairie Increased or Decreased
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference2017
AuthorsCutforth, H.W., Nimegeers J., and Steppuhn H.
Conference Name85th Annual Western Snow Conference
Date Published2017
Conference LocationBoise, Idaho

This study was initiated to determine if the annual Oct 1st through Apr 30th accumulation of daily snowfall at a
central location on the Canadian prairie has varied in magnitude over the last 56 years. This requires that the longterm
snowfall from 1960-61 through 2015-16 had to be separated from any inherent cyclic variation in the record by
averaging these data into 14 four-year periods. The accumulated daily snowfall plus any rainfall was collected and
measured as water equivalents in a Nipher-shielded precipitation gauge. The first 16 years of this Nipher
precipitation record averaged 15 mm greater than during the following 40 years. During those times when rain fell
during the snowfall months, a separate standard rain gauge was activated and its measure also recorded. The
differences in recorded water equivalents accumulated in the two gauges constituted the daily snowfall record. The
annual snowfall has failed to significantly increase or decrease during the last 40 years, while the daily sum of rain
plus snowfall has gained an average of 0.85 mm per year. This implies that the 34 mm increase in combined rain
and snow precipitation over the last 40 years resulted from an increase in rainfall during the Oct-Apr period, while
the snowfall magnitudes remained constant. (KEYWORDS: climatological station, Nipher-shielded gage (gauge),
winter rain, winter precipitation, annual snowfall)