A Climatology of Snow-to-Liquid Ratio for the Contiguous United States

Martin A. Baxter Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri

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Charles E. Graves Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri

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James T. Moore Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri

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Abstract

A 30-yr climatology of the snow-to-liquid-equivalent ratio (SLR) using the National Weather Service (NWS) Cooperative Summary of the Day (COOP) data is presented. Descriptive statistics are presented for 96 NWS county warning areas (CWAs), along with a discussion of selected histograms of interest. The results of the climatology indicate that a mean SLR value of 13 appears more appropriate for much of the country rather than the often-assumed value of 10, although considerable spatial variation in the mean exists. The distribution for the entire dataset exhibits positive skewness. Histograms for individual CWAs are both positively and negatively skewed, depending upon the variability of the in-cloud, subcloud, and ground conditions.

Corresponding author address: Martin A. Baxter, Dept. of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Saint Louis University, 329 Macelwane Hall, 3507 Laclede Ave., St. Louis, MO 63103. Email: baxterma@eas.slu.edu

Abstract

A 30-yr climatology of the snow-to-liquid-equivalent ratio (SLR) using the National Weather Service (NWS) Cooperative Summary of the Day (COOP) data is presented. Descriptive statistics are presented for 96 NWS county warning areas (CWAs), along with a discussion of selected histograms of interest. The results of the climatology indicate that a mean SLR value of 13 appears more appropriate for much of the country rather than the often-assumed value of 10, although considerable spatial variation in the mean exists. The distribution for the entire dataset exhibits positive skewness. Histograms for individual CWAs are both positively and negatively skewed, depending upon the variability of the in-cloud, subcloud, and ground conditions.

Corresponding author address: Martin A. Baxter, Dept. of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Saint Louis University, 329 Macelwane Hall, 3507 Laclede Ave., St. Louis, MO 63103. Email: baxterma@eas.slu.edu

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