Analysis of three rain on snow floods in the Sierra Nevada, California

TitleAnalysis of three rain on snow floods in the Sierra Nevada, California
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference1983
AuthorsHall, R. L., and Hannaford J. F.
Conference Name51st Annual Western Snow Conference
Series TitleProceedings of the 51st Annual Western Snow Conference
Date PublishedApril 1983
PublisherWestern Snow Conference
Conference LocationVancouver, Washington
KeywordsAmerican River, Flood-hydrograph, Floods, Rain-on-snow, Sierra Nevada, Snow accumulation, Snowmelt

Historic rain on snow flood conditions were investigated during the design flood study for a project in the American River basin of California. Basins analyzed range in elevation from under 300 m to nearly 3000 m and have average annual precipitation between 1000 and 2000 mm. Proximity to the Central Sierra Snow Laboratory operated by the U.S. Forest Service and a first order National weather Service station provided temperature, dewpoint, radiation and wind data that allowed use of relatively detailed procedures for calculation of snow accumulation and melt. Watersheds were subdivided into contributing areas and snow condition was calculated for each area on an hourly basis. Rainfall and snowmelt runoff values from each area were routed through the stream channels.