Quantifying Cloud and Wind Forcing of Snow During Rapid Atmospheric Warming Events

Document Type

Grant Proposal

Date Accepted

Fall 2003

Project Description/Abstract

The cumulative effects of cloud and wind shear on the mass balance of terrestrial snow and ice is uncertain, partially due to a lack of ground truths over seasonal snow cover, mountain glaciers and ice sheets. The overriding goal is to understand how cloud coverage affects and responds to rapid atmospheric warming events over seasonal and annual snow cover. This project will demonstrate the potential for using cost-effective, low energy consumption sensors for measuring the temporal and spatial variability of surface winds, snow drifting and cloud cover at snowy locations. Specific objectives include; 1) designing three electronic probes to measure cloud cover, wind and snow drifting, 2) calibrating probes using the existing wind tunnel and automatic weather tower at BSC, 3) field testing the probes at the Mt. Washington Observatory using a portable data logger, and 4) integrating the field measurements to improve a state-of-the-art snow model.

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