Where has all the snow gone? Snowpack sublimation in northern Utah

TitleWhere has all the snow gone? Snowpack sublimation in northern Utah
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference1992
AuthorsAvery, C. C., Dexter L. R., Wier R. R., Delinger W. G., Tecle A., and Becker R. J.
Conference Name60th Annual Western Snow Conference
Series TitleProceedings of the 60th Annual Western Snow Conference
Date PublishedApril 1992
PublisherWestern Snow Conference
Conference LocationJackson Hole, Wyoming
KeywordsEvapo-sublimation, Sublimation opportunity index, Sublimimeter

Climatic data for twenty-one winters was used to construct an index to assess the significance of evapo-sublimation at Flagstaff, Arizona. Large intra- and inter-annual variability was noted in the record using this 'sublimation opportunity index' as well as a similar one based on ('corrected for') the presence of snowcover.An instrument to record evapo-sublimation has been developed and preliminary data is presented which compares values from this 'sublimimeter' to the index values for periods in 1990-91 and 1991-92.While the index is not a predictive model, relatively good (R2 = 0.62, cross-correlation coefficient = 0.89, cross association value = 79%) agreement is found between index values and the observed values.It appears that at least 22% and as much as 70% of the snowpack at this high elevation site may be lost to sublimation and, therefore, that the date of snowpack accumulation is critical to the runoff efficiency of high elevation snowpacks.