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David A. Call

1. Introduction Anyone who has ever driven a car in winter weather is aware that snow and ice affect traffic volume. Prior scholarship has established this relationship, but most studies have been for small, limited areas, and there are numerous gaps. For example, researchers have not examined the relationship between snowfall and vehicle type. This study explores the relationships between snowfall and daily traffic counts in a very snowy area: western New York State. Traffic counts were

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Wanda Szyrmer and Isztar Zawadzki

1. Introduction The retrieval of microphysics of precipitating snow from Doppler radar and other remote sensing measurements, as well as snow microphysical parameterizations, requires knowledge of the form of the size distribution that allows an accurate derivation of the distribution moments that are important for descriptions of microphysical processes. Moreover, characteristics of individual snowflakes such as representative dimensional relations of mass and velocity are needed. The study of

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Glen E. Liston and Kelly Elder

1. Introduction All global snow-covered environments possess spatial distribution and time evolution characteristics. Further, at the most rudimentary level, all snow covers experience the common factors of accumulation and ablation. These basic features are inherent, regardless of where the snow occurs or the characteristics it possesses (e.g., those associated with the global snow-cover classes: ice, tundra, taiga, alpine/mountain, prairie, maritime, and ephemeral; Sturm et al. 1995 ). For

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Nicholas Dawson, Patrick Broxton, and Xubin Zeng

1. Introduction Snow is one of the most important wintertime land surface characteristics due to its impacts on land–atmosphere interactions. Snow insulates the soil from the atmosphere and also increases surface albedo, which reduces net solar radiation at the surface. Furthermore, snowmelt is critical for water resources, as it can account for more than 75% of runoff in places like the western United States ( Bales et al. 2006 ; Mankin et al. 2015 ). Yet, our understanding of how much snow

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Wenfang Xu, Lijuan Ma, Minna Ma, Haicheng Zhang, and Wenping Yuan

1. Introduction Snow cover plays an important role in regulating regional and global climate, especially in the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau, because of its high surface albedo and heat-insulation effect, which influences the energy exchange between the land surface and atmosphere ( Barnett et al. 1988 ; Yang et al. 2001 ; Chapin et al. 2005 ; Euskirchen et al. 2007 ). More than a century ago, Blanford (1884) suggested that an inverse relationship existed between summer rainfall over

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Yan Ge and Gavin Gong

1. Introduction Physically based relationships between snow and climate have been studied for nearly half a century, dating back to the pioneering work of Namias (1960 , 1962 , 1964) . Anomalous snow cover can influence the surface energy balance and temperature over a broad land surface region, and in turn affect atmospheric flow regimes, circulation patterns, and hemispheric climate. Over broad regional/continental scales, the bulk of the scientific literature has primarily focused on

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Xin Qu and Alex Hall

1. Introduction Snow-albedo feedback (SAF) enhances Northern Hemisphere (NH) extratropical climate sensitivity in climate change simulations ( Budyko 1969 ; Sellers 1969 ; Schneider and Dickinson 1974 ; Robock 1983 ; Cess et al. 1991 ; Randall et al. 1994 ; Hall 2004 ) because of two changes in the snowpack as surface air temperature ( T s ) increases ( Robock 1985 ). First snow cover shrinks, and where it does it generally reveals a land surface that is much less reflective of solar

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Matthew Sturm, Brian Taras, Glen E. Liston, Chris Derksen, Tobias Jonas, and Jon Lea

1. Introduction As global temperatures rise, the world’s snow resources are predicted to change in significant ways ( Hosaka et al. 2005 ; Christensen et al. 2007 ; Räisänen 2008 ; Deser et al. 2010 ). Long-term changes in global, regional, and local snow depth ( h s ), snow water equivalent (SWE), and extent will ultimately have major ramifications for ecosystem function, human utilization of snow resources, and the climate itself through feedback mechanisms like snow albedo ( Barry 1996

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Steven B. Malevich and Katherine Klink

and climatological aspects of this phenomenon. The majority of urban climate research has been conducted in cities with warm-to-moderate climates (e.g., Yow 2007 ). There have been fewer investigations of UHIs in cities with significant seasonal temperature variation and/or seasonal snow cover [exceptions include Minneapolis, Minnesota ( Todhunter 1996 ; Winkler et al. 1981 ); Barrow, Alaska ( Hinkel et al. 2003 ); Lódź, Poland ( Offerle et al. 2006 ); and Hamburg, Germany ( Schlünzen et al

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T. Nitta, K. Yoshimura, K. Takata, R. O’ishi, T. Sueyoshi, S. Kanae, T. Oki, A. Abe-Ouchi, and G. E. Liston

1. Introduction Seasonal snow cover is a key variable in the global climate system. For example, snow albedo feedback is important for climate change in heavily populated Northern Hemisphere extratropical landmasses, and its strength in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 3 and 5 (CMIP3 and CMIP5) models exhibits a large spread ( Hall and Qu 2006 ; Qu and Hall 2014 ). Seasonal snow cover also plays an important role in the hydrological cycle. In Arctic rivers, changes in the

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