DISCUSSION: When it comes to the world of skiing, there is no debate that a snow drought is the absolute worst possible nightmare which can come to life. However, as we began and got deeper into the 2017-2018 Winter season, this issue became an increasingly more widespread issue across parts of Western and Northwestern United States. As many areas across the Western and Central United States experienced notably above-normal temperatures and below-normal precipitation, this led to an unfavorable combination for ski- and snow-lovers alike. Moreover, when there is a snow drought of any magnitude across the Western and Central United States, this also creates concerns regarding both the near-term and long-term status of water resources across these regions. This is due to the fact that a solid portion (i.e., at least 20 to 30%) of fresh water comes from such resources and if a shortage of snowfall coverage persists for the duration of the 2017-2018 Winter season, this could create much larger issues as North America shifts into the Spring-time months. That being a result of the fact Spring-time is when snow-pack melts and gets deposited into regional reservoirs.
Hence, a lack of snowfall across the Western and Central United States represents a much larger problem that simply the happiness or disappointment of skiers, snow-boarders, and kids looking to get off from school after heavy snowfall events. Attached below is an exact excerpt from the article produced by the team at the NASA Earth Observatory which explains how this situation may be able to turn around before Winter comes to an end:
"Experts say there is still time for improvement. Snowpack in the Southern Rockies tends to come from a few big storms, in contrast to more frequent snowfalls to the north. Experts will know more in springtime, when NASA’s Airborne Snow Observatory (ASO) resumes annual flights that use lidar to measure the snow. Data from ASO—characterizing everything from snow depth, snow water equivalent, and albedo are an important guidance tool for water managers. The ASO team plans to survey California in March, and then head east for a survey over Colorado."
To learn more about this particular story from the NASA Earth Observatory and re-shared by the Climate Central team, click on the following link: https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=91757&src=eoa-iotd&utm_content=buffer85c4d&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer!
To learn more about other high-impact weather stories from across North America, be sure to click on the following link: https://www.globalweatherclimatecenter.com/north-america!
© 2018 Meteorologist Jordan Rabinowitz