Trends in time series of snow water equivalent (SWE) are analyzed for different time periods and as a function of elevation. Since 1914, hydropower companies have measured snow at the expected snow maximum. Most of the measurements are located at high elevations, 700–1,700 meters above sea level (masl), providing a unique dataset in areas poorly covered by meteorological stations. For single stations, significant positive and negative trends are found using the Mann–Kendall trend test. The trends depend on region, observation period and elevation. In southern Norway negative trends are found for sites below 1,350 masl for the periods 1931–1960 and 1991–2009, and below 850 masl for the period 1961–1990. Above these elevations, positive trends are found. For the entire period, 1931–2009, positive trends are found for stations located above 850 masl. These findings can be explained by varying trends in precipitation and temperature in winter and spring. For central and northern Norway, the pattern in trends is similar, although less pronounced. High and low values of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index correlate differently with SWE. High NAO index is positively correlated with SWE at high elevations and negatively at low elevations. Low NAO index is positively correlated with SWE at all elevations.
Research Article|January 27 2012
Trends in snow water equivalent in Norway (1931–2009)
Heidi Bache Stranden
Thomas Skaugen, Heidi Bache Stranden, Tuomo Saloranta; Trends in snow water equivalent in Norway (1931–2009). Hydrology Research 1 August 2012; 43 (4): 489–499. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/nh.2012.109
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