A storage model approach to the assessment of snow depth trends

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Abstract

[1] This paper introduces a stochastic storage model capable of assessing trends in daily snow depth series. The model allows for seasonal features, which permits the analysis of daily data. Breakpoint times, which occur when the observing station changes location or instrumentation, are shown to greatly influence estimated trend margins and are accounted for in this analysis. The model is fitted by numerically minimizing a sum of squares of daily prediction errors. Standard errors for the model parameters, useful in making trend inferences, are presented. The methods are illustrated in the analysis of a century of daily snow depth observations from Napoleon, North Dakota. The results here show that snow depths are significantly declining at Napoleon, with spring ablation occurring earlier, and that breakpoint features are very influential in deriving realistic trend estimates.

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