Historical Decadal Averages of Monthly Snow-Day Fraction 771m CRU TS3.0/3.1

These files include historical downscaled estimates of decadal average monthly snow-day fraction ("fs", units = percent probability from 1 – 100) for each month of the decades from 1900-1909 to 2000-2009 at 771 x 771 m spatial resolution. Each file represents a decadal average monthly mean.

Version 1.0 was completed in 2015
Version 2.0 was completed in 2018

These snow-day fraction estimates were produced by applying equations relating decadal average monthly temperature to snow-day fraction to downscaled decadal average monthly temperature. Separate equations were used to model the relationship between decadal monthly average temperature and the fraction of wet days with snow for seven geographic regions in the state: Arctic, Western Alaska, Interior, Cook Inlet, SW Islands, SW Interior, and the Gulf of Alaska coast, using regionally specific logistic models of the probability that precipitation falls as snow given temperature based on station data fits as in McAfee et al. 2014.

Although the equations developed here provide a reasonable fit to the data, model evaluation demonstrated that some stations are consistently less well described by regional models than others. It is unclear why this occurs, but it is likely related to localized climate conditions. Very few weather stations with long records are located above 500m elevation in Alaska, so the equations used here were developed primarily from low-elevation weather stations. It is not clear whether the equations will be completely appropriate in the mountains. Finally, these equations summarize a long-term monthly relationship between temperature and precipitation type that is the result of short-term weather variability. In using these equations to make projections of future snow, as assume that these relationships remain stable over time, and we do not know how accurate that assumption is.

These snow-day fraction estimates were produced by applying equations relating decadal average monthly temperature to snow-day fraction to downscaled decadal average monthly temperature. The equations were developed from daily observed climate data in the Global Historical Climatology Network. These data were acquired from the National Climatic Data Center in early 2012. Equations were developed for the seven climate regions described in Perica et al. (2012). Geospatial data describing those regions was provided by Sveta Stuefer.

Temperature data used can be found here:

Perica, S., D. Kane, S. Dietz, K. Maitaria, D. Martin, S. Pavlovic, I. Roy, S. Stuefer, A. Tidwell, C. Trypaluk, D. Unruh, M. Yekta, E. Betts, G. Bonnin, S. Heim, L. Hiner, E. Lilly, J. Narayanan, F.Yan, T. Zhao. 2012. NOAA Atlas 14. Precipitation-Frequency Atlas of the United States.

*Note: In Littell et al. 2018, "fs" is referred to as "PSF"

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Spatial resolution

4762 meters

Temporal extent

Start date: January 1900

End date: December 2009


The following people worked on producing this data set:

  • Matthew Leonawicz
  • Michael Lindgren
  • Tom Kurkowski
  • John Walsh
  • Scott Rupp
  • Stephanie McAfee
  • Jeremy Littell
Field Value
Source http://data.snap.uaf.edu/data/Base/AK_771m/historical/CRU_TS/snow_day_fraction/2015/
Maintainer Tom Kurkowski
Version 2.0.0
access_constraints ["https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/", "Please cite: Littell, J.S.; McAfee, S.A.; Hayward, G.D.\tAlaska Snowpack Response to Climate Change: Statewide Snowfall Equivalent and Snowpack Water Scenarios. Water 2018, 10, 668."]
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contact-email takurkowski@alaska.edu
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credits ["Matthew Leonawicz", "Michael Lindgren", "Tom Kurkowski", "John Walsh", "Scott Rupp", "Stephanie McAfee", "Jeremy Littell"]
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license Creative Commons Attribution 4.0
license_url http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
metadata-date 2018-05-31T16:27:57
progress completed
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temporal-extent-begin 1900-01-15T00:00:00
temporal-extent-end 2009-12-15T00:00:00