Changes in late-winter snowpack depth, water equivalent, and density in Maine, 1926–2004



Twenty-three snow-course sites in and near Maine, USA, with records spanning at least 50 years through to 2004 were tested for changes over time in snowpack depth, water equivalent, and density in March and April. Of the 23 sites, 18 had a significant decrease (Mann-Kendall test, p < 0·1) in snowpack depth or a significant increase in snowpack density over time. Data from four sites in the mountains of western Maine–northern New Hampshire with mostly complete records from 1926 to 2004 indicate that average snowpack depths have decreased by about 16% and densities have increased by about 11%. Average snowpack depths and water equivalents in western Maine–northern New Hampshire peaked in the 1950s and 1960s, and densities peaked in the most recent decade. Previous studies in western North America also found a water-equivalent peak in the third quarter of the 20th century. Published in 2006 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.