Predicting snowpack in the West before the first flake falls

Monday, Jan 29, 2018
by Morgan Kelly, Princeton Environmental Institute

In the American West, the anticipated water supply from snowpack — the high-elevation reservoir of snow that melts in the spring and summer — determines what, when and where farmers plant, and it helps urban water managers plan for the coming year’s water needs. 

A team of NOAA and Princeton researchers can now predict annual snowmelt in the American West as early as March, some eight months before winter begins. Their findings have implications for agriculture, tourism, fire control and more. Learn more.