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Snowpack, precipitation, and temperature measurements at the Central Sierra Snow Laboratory for water years 1971 to 2019

Citation

Osterhuber, Randall; Schwartz, Andrew (2021), Snowpack, precipitation, and temperature measurements at the Central Sierra Snow Laboratory for water years 1971 to 2019, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.6078/D1941T

Abstract

The snowpack of the Sierra Nevada Mountains is an indispensable freshwater resource for large portions of western North America. The Central Sierra Snow Laboratory (CSSL) has had an intigral role in the measurement of snowfall and snowpack properties within the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and has worked to develop a physical understanding of the processes that govern snow since 1946. This dataset contains measurements of temperature, precipiation quantity, snowfall, and snowpack characteristics including 24-hour snowfall, snowpack depth, and snow water equivalent for each water year (October 1 to September 30) from 1971 to 2019 at CSSL. Measurements were made at the same location at CSSL for the entirety of the 48 year measurement period to ensure continuity of record with minimal effects from difference in measurement location. 

Methods

Data on snowpack depth and snow water equivalent (SWE) were collected using a federal sampler and/or a large snow stake at 9:00 Pacific Standard Time (PST) each day. New snowfall measurements used a snow board and ruler at 8:00 and 16:00 PST on days when snowfall occurred and were then totalled for daily new snow quantity.

Usage Notes

Snowfall amounts < 0.5 cm when measured with the snow board and ruler were labelled as "Trace" or "T" accumulations. Missing values recorded as "NA."