Correlation of Temperature and Snow Water Equivalency in the Sierra Nevada

TitleCorrelation of Temperature and Snow Water Equivalency in the Sierra Nevada
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference2006
AuthorsHassen, C., and McManigal K.
Conference Name74th Annual Western Snow Conference
Series TitleProceedings of the 74th Annual Western Snow Conference
Date PublishedApril 2006
PublisherWestern Snow Conference
Conference LocationLas Cruces, NM
KeywordsSierra Nevada, global warming, SWE, SNOTEL, snowpack decline

Much of the world's resources, such as fresh water in the form of snow are decreasing, as is evident in the Sierra Nevada. This can be attributed to many factors but, most importantly, the continual rise of global temperatures. Nine NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) snow telemetry (SNOTEL) sites were studied in a geographic range from Lake Tahoe to Mono Lake in order to identify a correlation between temperature and snow water equivalency (SWE). GIS results suggest a direct relationship of temperature to SWE. Mountain communities are the stewards of these vital areas and combined with support from the state of California, have an obligation to preserve and protect these areas from anthropogenic abuses. If nothing is done to reduce the human causes of global warming trends, what once was known as the Snowy Mountain range, may soon be exhausted of its valuable snowpack. (Abstract only)