A new study released this week finds a decreasing snowpack on the ground, when measured in spring across the Northern Hemisphere. The Global Snow Lab at Rutgers University says the average spring snow cover in our hemisphere has shrunk one million square miles over the last 45 years. A 2nd study in the Journal of Climate predicts annual global snowfall will shrink by more than a foot over the next 50 years. Climate scientists say warmer global temperatures will result in a shorter snow season, producing less total snowfall. However, increased water vapor will fuel a higher number of severe winter storms and blizzards.
Dr. Philip Mote , who heads the Climate Change Institute at Oregon State University, says Cascade snowpack on the ground when measured April 1st is down 20 percent on average, when compared to 80 years ago. Surface measurements and NOAA satellite images were combined for the study. Using Timberline Lodge as the measuring spot, average Mt. Hood snow on the ground April 1st over the past 10 years is 176 inches.
(Courtesy the Associated Press for parts of this story)
KGW Meteorologist Rod Hill