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Using Snowfall Intensity to Improve the Correction of Wind-Induced Undercatch in Solid Precipitation Measurements
Matteo Colli | Mattia Stagnaro | Luca Giovanni Lanza | Roy Rasmussen | Julie M. Thériault

Abstract. Transfer functions are generally used to adjust for the wind-induced undercatch of solid precipitation measurements. These functions are derived based on the variation of the collection efficiency with wind speed for a particular type of gauge, either using field experiments or based on numerical simulation. Most studies use the wind speed alone, while others also include surface air temperature and/or precipitation type to try to reduce the scatter of the residuals at a given wind speed. In this study, we propose the use of the measured precipitation intensity to improve the effectiveness of the transfer function. This is achieved by applying optimized curve fitting to field measurements from the Marshall field-test site (CO, USA). The use of a non-gradient optimization algorithm ensures optimal binning of experimental data according to the parameter under test. The results reveal that using precipitation intensity as an explanatory variable significantly reduce the scatter of the residuals. The scatter reduction as indicated by the Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) is confirmed by the analysis of the recent quality controlled data from the WMO/SPICE campaign, showing that this approach can be applied to a variety of locations and catching-type gauges. We demonstrate the physical basis of the relationship between the collection efficiency and the measured precipitation intensity, due to the correlation of large particles with high intensities, by conducting a Computational Fluid-Dynamics (CFD) simulation. We use a Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes SST k-ω model coupled with a Lagrangian particle-tracking model. Results validate the hypothesis of using the measured precipitation intensity as a key parameter to improve the correction of wind-induced undercatch. Findings have the potential to improve operational measurements since no additional instrument other than a wind sensor is required to apply the correction. This improves the accuracy of precipitation measurements without the additional cost of ancillary instruments such as particle counters.

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Environmental and taxonomic controls of carbon and oxygen stable isotope composition in <i>Sphagnum</i> across broad climatic and geographic ranges
Gustaf Granath | Håkan Rydin | Jennifer L. Baltzer | Fia Bengtsson | Nicholas Boncek | Luca Bragazza | Zhao‐Jun Bu | S. J. M. Caporn | Ellen Dorrepaal | О. В. Галанина | Mariusz Gałka | Anna Ganeva | David P. Gillikin | Irina Goia | N. D. Goncharova | Michal Hájek | Akira Haraguchi | Lorna I. Harris | Elyn Humphreys | Martin Jiroušek | Katarzyna Kajukało | Edgar Karofeld | Natalia G. Koronatova | Natalia P. Kosykh | Mariusz Lamentowicz | Е. Д. Лапшина | Juul Limpens | Maiju Linkosalmi | Jinze Ma | Marguerite Mauritz | Tariq Muhammad Munir | Susan M. Natali | Rayna Natcheva | Maria​ Noskova | Richard J. Payne | Kyle Pilkington | Sean M. Robinson | Bjorn J. M. Robroek | Line Rochefort | David Singer | Hans K. Stenøien | Eeva‐Stiina Tuittila | Kai Vellak | Anouk Verheyden | J. M. Waddington | Steven K. Rice

Abstract. Rain-fed peatlands are dominated by peat mosses (Sphagnum sp.), which for their growth depend on elements from the atmosphere. As the isotopic composition of carbon (12,13C) and oxygen (16,18O) of these Sphagnum mosses are affected by environmental conditions, the dead Sphagnum tissue accumulated in peat constitutes a potential long-term archive that can be used for climate reconstruction. However, there is a lack of adequate understanding of how isotope values are influenced by environmental conditions, which restricts their current use as environmental and palaeoenvironmental indicators. Here we tested (i) to what extent C and O isotopic variation in living tissue of Sphagnum is species-specific and associated with local hydrological gradients, climatic gradients (evapotranspiration, temperature, precipitation), and elevation; (ii) if the C isotopic signature can be a proxy for net primary productivity (NPP) of Sphagnum; and (iii) to what extent Sphagnum tissue δ18O tracks the δ18O isotope signature of precipitation. In total, we analysed 337 samples from 93 sites across North America and Eurasia using two important peat-forming Sphagnum species (S. magellanicum, S. fuscum) common to the Holartic realm. There were differences in δ13C values between species. For S. magellanicum δ13C decreased with increasing height above the water table (HWT, R2 = 17 %) and was positively correlated to productivity (R2 = 7 %). Together these two variables explained 46 % of the between-site variation in δ13C values. For S. fuscum, productivity was the only significant predictor of δ13C (total R2 = 6 %). For δ18O values, ca. 90 % of the variation was found between sites. Globally-modelled annual δ18O values in precipitation explained 69% of the between-site variation in tissue δ18O. S. magellanicum showed lower δ18O enrichment than S. fuscum (−0.83 ‰ lower) . Elevation and climatic variables were weak predictors of tissue δ18O values after controlling for δ18O values of the precipitation. To summarise, our study provides evidence for (a) good predictability of tissue δ18O values from modelled annual δ18O values in precipitation, and (b) the possibility to relate tissue δ13C values to HWT and NPP, but this appears to be species-dependent. These results suggest that isotope composition can be used at a large scale for climatic reconstructions but that such models should be species-specific.

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Combined Impacts of ENSO and MJO on the 2015 Growing Season Drought over the Canadian Prairies
Zhenhua Li | Yanping Li | Barrie Bonsal | A. H. Manson | Lucia Scaff

Abstract. Warm-season precipitation over the Canadian Prairies plays a crucial role in activities in environment and society and has particular importance to agricultural production over the region. This research investigates how a warm season precipitation deficit over the Canadian Prairies is related to tropical Pacific forcing in the early summer 2015 drought. The significant deficit of precipitation in May and June of 2015 were coincident with a warm phase of El Nino–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and a negative phase of Madden–Julian Oscillation (MJO)-4 index as they both favor a positive geopotential height anomaly in western Canada. Further investigation during the instrumental record period (1979–2015) shows that the warm-season precipitation in the Canadian Prairies and the corresponding atmospheric circulation anomalies over western Canada teleconnected with the lower boundary conditions in the tropical western Pacific. MJO may play a crucial role in determining the summer precipitation anomaly in the western Canadian Prairie when equatorial central Pacific is warmer than normal (NINO4 > 0) and MJO is more active. The mechanism of this teleconnection may be due to the propagation of stationary Rossby wave that is generated in the MJO-4 index region. When the tropical convection around MJO-4 index regions (western tropical Pacific, centered over 140 E) is more active than normal when NINO4 > 0, a Rossby wave train originates from western Pacific and propagates into the midlatitude North America causing an anomalous ridge in the upper level over western Canada.

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Effects of midwinter snowmelt on runoff generation andgroundwater recharge in the Canadian prairies
Igor Pavlovskii | Masaki Hayashi | Daniel Itenfisu

Abstract. Snowpack accumulation and depletion are important elements of the hydrological cycle in the prairies. The surface runoff generated during snowmelt is transformed into streamflow or fills numerous depressions driving the focused recharge of groundwater in this dry setting. The snowpack in the prairies can undergo several cycles of accumulation and depletion in a winter. The timing of the melt affects the mechanisms of snowpack depletion and their hydrological implications. The effects of midwinter melt were investigated at three sites in the Canadian prairies. Unlike net radiation-driven snowmelt during spring melt, turbulent sensible heat fluxes were the dominant source of energy inputs for midwinter melt occurring in the period with low solar radiation inputs. Midwinter melt events had lower runoff ratios than subsequent spring melt events and had strong impacts on the timing of the focussed recharge. Remote sensing data have shown that midwinter melt events regularly occur under the present climate throughout the Canadian prairies.

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Historical drought patterns over Canada and their relation to teleconnections
Zilefac Elvis Asong | H. S. Wheater | Barrie Bonsal | Saman Razavi | Sopan Kurkute

Abstract. Drought is a recurring extreme climate event and among the most costly natural disasters in the world. This is particularly true over Canada, where drought is both a frequent and damaging phenomenon with impacts on regional water resources, agriculture, industry, aquatic ecosystems and health. However, nation-wide drought assessments are currently lacking and impacted by limited ground-based observations. This study provides a comprehensive analysis of historical droughts over the whole of Canada, including the role of large-scale teleconnections. Drought events are characterized by the Standardized Precipitation-Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) over various temporal scales (1, 3, 6, and 12 consecutive months, 6 months from April to September, and 12 months from October to September) applied to different gridded monthly data sets for the period 1950–2013. The Mann Kendall test, Rotated Empirical Orthogonal Function, Continuous Wavelet Transform, and Wavelet Coherence analyses are used, respectively, to investigate the trend, spatiotemporal patterns, periodicity, and teleconnectivity of drought events. Results indicate that southern (northern) parts of the country experienced significant trends towards drier (wetter) conditions although substantial variability exists. Two spatially well-defined regions with different temporal evolution of droughts were identified―the Canadian Prairies and Northern-central Canada. The analyses also revealed the presence of a dominant periodicity of between 8–32 months in the Prairie region, and 8–40 months in the Northern central region. These cycles of low-frequency variability are found to be associated principally to the Pacific-North American (PNA) and Multivariate El Niño/Southern Oscillation Index (MEI) relative to other considered large-scale climate indices. This study is the first of its kind to identify dominant periodicities in drought variability over the whole of Canada in terms of when the drought events occur, the duration, and how often they do so.

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The Cariboo Alpine Mesonet: Sub-hourly hydrometeorological observations of British Columbia's Cariboo Mountains and surrounding area since 2006
Marco A. Hernández-Henríquez | Aseem R. Sharma | Mark P. Taylor | Hadleigh D. Thompson | Stephen J. Déry

Abstract. This article presents the development of a sub-hourly database of hydrometeorological conditions collected in British Columbia's Cariboo Mountains and surrounding area extending from 2006 to present. The Cariboo Alpine Mesonet (CAMnet) forms a network of 11 active hydrometeorological stations positioned at strategic locations across mid- to high elevations of the Cariboo Mountains. This mountain range spans 44,150 km2 forming the northern extension of the Columbia Mountains. Deep fjord lakes along with old-growth redcedar and hemlock forests reside in the lower valleys, montane forests of Engelmann spruce, lodgepole pine and subalpine fir permeate the mid-elevations while alpine tundra, glaciers and several large icefields cover the higher elevations. The automatic weather stations typically measure air and soil temperature, relative humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind speed and direction, rainfall, and snow depth at 15 minute intervals. Additional measurements at some stations include shortwave and longwave radiation, near-surface air, skin, snow or water temperature, and soil moisture among others. Details on deployment sites, the instrumentation used and its precision, the collection and quality control process are provided. Instructions on how to access the database at Zenodo, an online public data repository, are also furnished ( Information on some of the challenges and opportunities encountered in maintaining continuous and homogeneous time series of hydrometeorological variables and remote field sites is provided. The paper also summarizes ongoing plans to expand CAMnet to better monitor atmospheric conditions in BC's mountainous terrain, efforts to push data online in (near)real-time, availability of ancillary data, and lessons learned thus far in developing this mesoscale network of hydrometeorological stations in the data-sparse Cariboo Mountains.