Record snow melt in the US in 2021

(ORDO NEWS) — Scientists at the Desert Research Institute in the United States recorded that in April 2021, the rate of snow melt in the mountains of western North America reached record levels and affected 24 percent of snow monitoring sites in the region.

The researchers analyzed data collected by the Snow Telemetry Observation Network (SNOTEL) in April 2021.

In those days, the snow in the western United States was melting at an alarming rate, and by May 1, hydrological conditions had seriously deteriorated due to a significant decrease in summer fresh water supplies.

It turned out that in all 11 western US states, snow melt reached record rates over a seven-day period.

Although record rates of snow melt were observed throughout April, scientists identified two heat waves.

In the first week of April, maximum temperatures were 4 to 6 degrees Celsius above average, leading to record-breaking snowmelt in the Rocky Mountains.

Another heatwave in the third week of April hit the Pacific Northwest with maximum temperatures 5 to 8 degrees Celsius above average, mostly in the Cascade Mountains.

In addition to record high maximum temperatures, there were also record high minimum temperatures that prevented snowpacks from refreezing at night, and clear skies exposed the snow to sunlight.

Decreased water availability has also affected hydroelectric power generation, making it difficult to provide energy during the summer and autumn heatwaves.

By the end of summer 2021, 76 percent of the western United States was suffering from severe drought, according to the US Drought Monitor.


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