Eastern snowpack conditions - characteristics and significance

TitleEastern snowpack conditions - characteristics and significance
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference1982
AuthorsEschner, A. R.
Conference Name50th Annual Western Snow Conference
Series TitleProceedings of the 50th Annual Western Snow Conference
Date PublishedApril 1982
PublisherWestern Snow Conference
Conference LocationReno, Nevada
KeywordsEastern U.S., Runoff, Snow accumulation, Snowpack

Eastern snowpack conditions are sharply different from those in the west; but not necessarily in the ways we might imagine. In New York, the seasonal snowfall approaches the average seasonal snowfall in many western areas, and is well correlated with melt season streamflow volumes. In spite of a substantial annual precipitation uniformly delivered over the year, the seasons when snow is present on the ground or in the process of melting provide the bulk of streamflow for many areas in the East. Although approximately as much precipitation falls in the growing season as the dormant season, its contribution to streamflow is small, and the snowpack is a significant parameter for predicting even total annual runoff.