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https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-43
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-43
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 13 Feb 2020

Submitted as: research article | 13 Feb 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal TC.

Quantifying the impact of synoptic weather types and patterns on energy fluxes of a marginal snowpack

Andrew Jonathan Schwartz1, Hamish Andrew McGowan1, Alison Theobald2, and Nik Callow3 Andrew Jonathan Schwartz et al.
  • 1Atmospheric Observations Research Group, University of Queensland, Brisbane, 4072, Australia
  • 2Department of Environment and Science, Queensland Government, Brisbane, 4072, Australia
  • 3School of Agriculture and Environment, University of Western Australia, Perth, 6009, Australia

Abstract. Synoptic weather patterns are investigated for their impact on energy fluxes driving melt of a marginal snowpack in the Snowy Mountains, southeast Australia. K-means clustering applied to ECMWF ERA-Interim data identified common synoptic types and patterns that were then associated with in-situ snowpack energy flux measurements. The analysis showed that the largest contribution of energy to the snowpack occurred immediately prior to the passage of cold fronts through increased sensible heat flux as a result of warm air advection (WAA) ahead of the front. Shortwave radiation was found to be the dominant control on positive energy fluxes when individual synoptic weather types were examined. As a result, cloud cover related to each synoptic type was shown to be highly influential on the energy fluxes to the snowpack through its reduction of shortwave radiation and reflection/emission of longwave fluxes. This research is an important step towards understanding changes in surface energy flux as a result of shifts to the global atmospheric circulation as anthropogenic climate change continues to impact marginal winter snowpacks.

Andrew Jonathan Schwartz et al.

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Andrew Jonathan Schwartz et al.

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Synoptic Weather Energy Balance in the Australia's Snowy Mountains A. Schwartz, H. McGowan, and N. Callow https://doi.org/10.14264/uql.2019.691

Andrew Jonathan Schwartz et al.

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Latest update: 23 Feb 2020
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Short summary
This study measured energy available for snowmelt during the 2016 and 2017 snow seasons in Kosciuszko National Park, NSW, Australia and identified common traits for days with similar weather characteristics. The analysis showed that energy available for snowmelt was highest in the days before cold fronts passed through the region due to higher air temperatures. Regardless of differences in daily weather characteristics, solar radiation contributed the highest amount of energy to snowpack melt.
This study measured energy available for snowmelt during the 2016 and 2017 snow seasons in...
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