Event Title

Condensation Snow Melt

Faculty Sponsor(s)

Mark Green

Location

Hartman Union Building Courtroom

Presentation Type

Event

Start Date

5-3-2018 2:00 PM

End Date

5-3-2018 3:00 PM

Abstract

Ice jam floods that occur along the Pemigewasett River in New Hampshire are often a result of rapid snow melt during rain on snow events. Before any snow melt can occur, the snowpack must first become isothermal (0°C). Snow melt is influenced by several different factors which include solar radiation, air temperature, relative humidity, precipitation, and wind speed. It has been observed that snow melts more rapidly during rain on snow events. Rain melts the snow by entering the snowpack and there is an exchange in heat between the warm rain and isothermal snow. While the rain itself plays a part in melting the snow, the high humidity has more of an effect. The warm, moist air that is present during rain on snow event, condenses on top of cold snow pack. Through condensation, heat is released into the snowpack, which contributes to most of the snowmelt during rain on snow events. I analyzed snowpack data at Hubbard Brook during rain on snow events to test whether the condensation melting is apparent during the past decade. The data are consistent with condensation melting causing the largest winter floods that could lead to ice jam floods further downstream.

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May 3rd, 2:00 PM May 3rd, 3:00 PM

Condensation Snow Melt

Hartman Union Building Courtroom

Ice jam floods that occur along the Pemigewasett River in New Hampshire are often a result of rapid snow melt during rain on snow events. Before any snow melt can occur, the snowpack must first become isothermal (0°C). Snow melt is influenced by several different factors which include solar radiation, air temperature, relative humidity, precipitation, and wind speed. It has been observed that snow melts more rapidly during rain on snow events. Rain melts the snow by entering the snowpack and there is an exchange in heat between the warm rain and isothermal snow. While the rain itself plays a part in melting the snow, the high humidity has more of an effect. The warm, moist air that is present during rain on snow event, condenses on top of cold snow pack. Through condensation, heat is released into the snowpack, which contributes to most of the snowmelt during rain on snow events. I analyzed snowpack data at Hubbard Brook during rain on snow events to test whether the condensation melting is apparent during the past decade. The data are consistent with condensation melting causing the largest winter floods that could lead to ice jam floods further downstream.