This study details the creation of a gridded snowfall dataset for North America, with focus on the quality of the interpolated product. Daily snowfall amounts from National Weather Service Cooperative Observer Program stations and Meteorological Service of Canada surface stations are interpolated to 18 by 18 grids from 1900 to 2009 and examined for data record length and quality. The interpolation is validated spatially and temporally through the use of stratified sampling and κ-fold cross-validation analyses. Interpolation errors average around 0.5 cm and range from less than 0.01 to greater than 2.5 cm. For most locations, this is within the measurement sensitivity. Grid cells with large variations in elevation experience higher errors and should be used with caution. A new gridded snowfall climatology is presented based on in situ observations that capture seasonal and interannual variability in monthly snowfall over most of the North American land area from 1949 to 2009. The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network is used as an independent set of point data that is compared to the gridded product. Errors are mainly in the form of the gridded data underestimating snowfall compared to the point data. The spatial extent, temporal length, and resolution of the dataset are unprecedented with regard to observational snowfall products and will present new opportunities for examining snowfall across North America.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ocean Engineering
- Atmospheric Science