Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Fairbanks Snowpack: Going...Going...

The remaining winter snowpack was down to 1" as of late Saturday evening at the Fairbanks Airport. Here's a plume diagram of springtime daily snow depth at the Airport since 1985.
The outstanding feature of this plot is that this year, unlike other recent years with very late meltouts, the mid-spring snow depth was not unusual. Even 1985 started off considerably more snow on the ground in March. Because meltout is uneven and the remaining snow cover is patchy, there is an element of subjectivity in putting down a single number for snow depth. But for this year, at the Airport, even with the turn back to cooler temperatures cooling, the end of the snow pack is near.

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