Online ISSN : 1349-6476
ISSN-L : 1349-6476
Estimation of seasonal snow mass balance all over Japan using a high-resolution atmosphere-snow model chain
Masashi NiwanoMasami SuyaKoichi NagayaSatoru YamaguchiSumito MatobaIkuo HaradaNozomu Ohkawara
Author information
JOURNAL OPEN ACCESS Advance online publication

Article ID: 2022-031


Despite the importance of seasonal snow in Japan, quantitative information on seasonal snow mass in the whole area is lacking. To understand the current mass balance of seasonal snow cover, we develop a method to quantify the mass balance of seasonal snow all over Japan using the Japan Meteorological Agency's operational regional atmospheric model, Local Forecast Model (LFM), as well as the snow physics model, Snow Metamorphism and Albedo Process (SMAP). Our model simulations using the LFM-SMAP model chain show that the seasonal snow water equivalent (SWE) evolution is mostly controlled by snowfall and runoff. It is estimated that the seasonal peak area-integrated SWE in Japan reaches 42.2 Gt on average during the 2017-2022 winters, and 60.1 Gt (+43% with respect to the average) and 22.0 Gt (−48%) during relatively heavy (2017-2018) and relatively light (2019-2020) snow years, respectively. The ratios between seasonal peak area-integrated SWE and winter-accumulated (November to February) snowfall amounts for the heavy, average, and light snow years are 83%, 74%, and 59%, respectively.

Content from these authors
© The Author(s) 2022. This is an open access article published by the Meteorological Society of Japan under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license.

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons [Attribution 4.0 International] license.