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Long-term variability and trends in annual snowfall/total precipitation ratio in Finland and the role of atmospheric circulation patterns

Journal article
Authors Masoud Irannezhad
A. K. Ronkanen
S. Kiani
Deliang Chen
B. Klove
Published in Cold Regions Science and Technology
Volume 143
Pages 23-31
ISSN 0165-232X
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Earth Sciences
Pages 23-31
Language en
Keywords Snowfall/precipitation ratio, Temperature, Trend analysis, Atmospheric circulation, Finland, snow cover, northern-hemisphere, air-temperature, decadal trends, united-states, climate, classification, oscillation, projections, streamflow
Subject categories Environmental Sciences, Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences


This study evaluated variabilities and trends in annual snowfall to total precipitation (S/P) ratio at Sodankyla, Kajaani and Kaisaniemi weather stations in northern, central and southern Finland during 1909-2008. Annual S/ P ratio was estimated using daily precipitation and temperature records as input to a calibrated and validated temperature-index snowmelt model developed to simulate snowpack accumulation and melt processes in Finland. Factors controlling variations in annual S/P ratio and their relationships with large-scale atmospheric circulation patterns (ACPs) were also studied. The results show that there were significant declines in annual S/P ratio during 1909-2008, which were principally attributable to century-long decreasing trends in annual snowfall (S) in Finland. These reductions in annual S were predominantly controlled by both annual rainfall (R) and snowfall-day temperature (ST) in the south, annual ST in the centre, and annual R in the north. However, dividing the 100-year study period into an early (1909-1958) and late (1959-2008) periods revealed non-linear trend behaviours in annual S and consequently annual S/P ratio during 1909-2008. The Arctic Oscillation, East Atlantic, East Atlantic/West Russia and Scandinavia patterns were the most influential ACPs for annual S variability.

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