Thursday, January 26, 2012

Impressive Tranformation of Study Area Snowpack

I have been accused on occasion of being a data geek. This post should help substantiate that accusation!

For those who tracked my goshawk research last year, you may remember that the late spring snows caused significant difficulties in our field work. So much so that this year I am proposing to start the field season one week later and have even considered starting two weeks later! Then the very dry winter hit. The snow pack in my study area was less than half of normal. This caused concern on the other end of the spectrum - should I start the season earlier?

There is not much I can do about it yet, but that didn't stop me from keeping a close eye on the numbers. As many have heard, and others have witnessed directly, there have been some pretty impressive storms in the northwest. The graph below illustrates the 2011 snow pack, which was near normal, and this year's snow pack. Check out the impact of those recent storms!

Magic Mountain SnoTel data.

January snow in not a strong predictor of snow pack in May, so I will just have to wait. Regardless, I will continue to keep a close eye on the matter.

1 comment:

Radd Icenoggle said...

Glad to see that the snowpack down there is getting close to normal as well. I was really starting to worry.