Seminar Abstract

Joe Casola

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The relationship between daily and seasonal snow accumulation in the Washington Cascades as observed at Snowpack Telemetry (SNOTEL)

Snowpack Telemetry (SNOTEL) stations located throughout the Washington Cascades provide daily measurements of temperature, precipitation, and the water equivalent of the snowpack. These measurements demonstrate that season-ending snow water equivalent (SWE) is strongly influenced by accumulation or ablation events that occur over a few days. Additionally, in a basin-averaged sense, many of the largest accumulation and ablation events are coherent over the elevational and horizontal extent of the Cascades. Individual winters can be revisited to demonstrate how accumulation and ablation events yield "good" or "bad" snowpack winters. Using these years as analogs, the daily data potentially provides a new way to think about how warming could affect the snowpack of the Cascades.

Speaker bio:

Joe Casola is pursuing a PhD in Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington, where he is advised by Mike Wallace. His research examines climate variability and change, especially as it relates to the Pacific Northwest. As a member of the Interdisciplinary and Policy Dimensions of the Earth Sciences (IPDES) program, Joe is also interested in how climate information is used in the management of the region's natural resources.

Prior to coming to UW, Joe received his B.S. in Chemistry from Duke University. He also worked as a consultant for ICF Consulting in Washington, DC, estimating greenhouse gas emissions for various Environmental Protection Agency projects, and as a math teacher at the Casablanca American School in Morocco.