Development of the prairie blowing snow model for application in climatological and hydrological models

TitleDevelopment of the prairie blowing snow model for application in climatological and hydrological models
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference1997
AuthorsPomeroy, J. W., and Li L.
Conference Name65th Annual Western Snow Conference
Series TitleProceedings of the 65th Annual Western Snow Conference
Date PublishedMay 1997
PublisherWestern Snow Conference
Conference LocationBanff, Alberta
KeywordsModel, PBSM, Roughness, Snow transport, Sublimation

The Prairie Blowing Snow Model (PBSM) is a single colwnn, physically-based, mass and energy balance that calculates blowing snow transport and sublimation rates. New features of the model include a correction for snowfall undermeasurement, mid-winter snowmelt, snow density estimates and estimation of the effect of exposed vegetation on aerodynamic roughness height during blowing snow. Importantly, the model now includes algorithms to estimate the threshold wind speed for snow transport and to estimate the probability of blowing snow occurrence. The probability of blowing snow occurrence is used to scale the blowing snow fluxes horizontally so that estimates from a 1 x 1 km surface area control volume may be extrapolated to larger scales, varying fetches and vegetation types. As a demonstration, the model is operated using standard meteorological data from meteorological stations in the Canadian Prairies and compared to snow accumulation measurements at these stations. The model is also used to estimate snow accumulation for comparison to extensive field snow surveys from the Bad Lake experimental basin in west-central Saskatchewan. It is shown that the new version of PBSM can provide estimates of snow accumulation, melt, transport and sublimation from hourly to seasonal time periods for varying land surfaces.