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Glen E. Liston, Daniel L. Birkenheuer, Christopher A. Hiemstra, Donald W. Cline, and Kelly Elder

development at ESRL utilizes a 10-km horizontal grid (125 × 105) with 21 isobaric vertical levels and an hourly temporal resolution. The purpose of a system such as LAPS is to not only provide an up-to-date atmospheric state representation for nowcasting and assessment but also serve as a mechanism to initialize local-scale mesoscale weather forecast models. LAPS makes use of a wide range of observational datasets as part of its analyses, including 1) surface observations from regional surface networks

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Kelly Elder, Don Cline, Glen E. Liston, and Richard Armstrong

1. Introduction Snowpack measurements have been taken in North America for nearly 100 years, with the objective of increasing our ability to forecast runoff from snow-covered regions. Point measurements have been the norm, although short transects from snow courses provide a limited representation of the variability of the spatial nature of snow water equivalent (SWE). The snowpack telemetry (SNOTEL) system of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) gives regional SWE information in a

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Glen E. Liston, Christopher A. Hiemstra, Kelly Elder, and Donald W. Cline

could also be applied to other cold regions and cold season landscapes to help understand snow-distribution characteristics and features in those areas. Acknowledgments The authors thank Dan Birkenheuer for kindly providing the LAPS datasets. This work was supported by NASA Grants NAG5-11710, NNG04GP59G, and NNG04HK191, and NOAA Grant NA17RJ1228. REFERENCES Albers, S. C. , 1995 : The LAPS wind analysis. Wea. Forecasting , 10 , 342 – 352 . 10.1175/1520-0434(1995)010<0342:TLWA>2.0.CO;2 Albers

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Glen E. Liston and Christopher A. Hiemstra

. , 3 , 396 – 409 . 10.1175/1520-0450(1964)003<0396:ATFMDI>2.0.CO;2 Barnes, S. L. , 1973 : Mesoscale objective analysis using weighted time-series observations. NOAA Tech. Memo. ERL NSSL-62, National Severe Storms Laboratory, Norman, OK 73069, 60 pp. [NTIS COM-73-10781] . Blöschl, G. , 1999 : Scaling issues in snow hydrology. Hydrol. Processes , 13 , 2149 – 2175 . 10.1002/(SICI)1099-1085(199910)13:14/15<2149::AID-HYP847>3.0.CO;2-8 Bonan, G. B. , 1991 : A biophysical surface energy

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D. Marks, A. Winstral, G. Flerchinger, M. Reba, J. Pomeroy, T. Link, and K. Elder

already limited water resources in the western United States ( Barnett et al. 2005 ) and will require improved monitoring ( Schaefer and Werner 1996 ; Abramovich and Pattee 1999 ). Furthermore, as empirical methods calibrated on past climate conditions become less reliable, a more physically based spatially explicit approach to forecasting melt from the seasonal snow cover across the region ( Garen and Marks 1998 , 2005 ) is essential. A number of studies have focused on both measuring and modeling

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