Journal Highlights

A coupled snow-atmosphere modeling study

Editor’s Highlight—

 

Snow-atmosphere interactions is an important but under-appreciated field. Snow is a critical natural water reservoir yet we do not have a good understanding of what controls its distribution, particularly in alpine environments where it is most important. This paper presents a fully-coupled model simulation attempting to grapple with this process. The authors ran high-resolution model simulations with and without a snow redistribution parameterization enabled over a region of complex terrain. They then contrasted the spatial variability of snow accumulation on the surface with and without the redistribution model component, finding that redistribution substantially increases the spatial variability, particularly for shorter length scales. This work is important because the variability of snowpack has important implications for hydrology, ecosystems, and avalanches. This paper should be of interest to the atmospheric community, which has thus far been relatively absent from this research field.