Snow albedo is determined from the ratio of out-going to incoming solar radiation using three years of broadband shortwave radiometer data obtained from the Barrow, Alaska, Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) site. These data are used for the evaluation of various types of snow-albedo parameterizations applied in numerical weather prediction or climate models. These snow-albedo parameterizations are based on environmental conditions (e.g., air or snow temperature), snow related characteristics (e.g., snow depth, snow age), or combinations of both. The ARM data proved to be well suited for snow-albedo evaluation purposes for a low-precipitation tundra environment. The evaluation confirms that snow-age dependent parameterizations of snow albedo work well during snowmelt, while parameterizations considering meteorological conditions often perform better during snow accumulation. Current difficulties in parameterizing snow albedo occur for long episodes of snow-event free conditions and episodes with a high frequency of snow events or strong snowfall.
Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 10, 2007
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