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Comparison with criteria used by Prowse et al. (2002) found that a minimum of 25 MDD over a 7-day period was a poor predictor of mid-winter break-up events, with only six of 52 events preceded by MDD of this magnitude (Table 2). A total of 32 events were preceded by the thresholds given by Carr & Vuyovich (2014): a minimum of eight MDD or 2.8 mm of rain over a 5-day period. The classification of mid-winter break-up events by biomes reveals the regional variability in hydro-climatic triggers. In particular, the threshold of eight MDD or 2.8 mm of rainfall is a good predictor of mid-winter break-up events in Temperate Grasslands, but a poor predictor of mid-winter break-up events in Boreal Forests. Examination of mean and maximum temperatures preceding mid-winter break-up events revealed that above-freezing temperatures and/or rain on snow over as little as 3 days is sufficient to generate a mid-winter break-up in all hydro-climatic regions.

Table 2

Number of events that meet temperature and precipitation thresholds defined given by Prowse et al. (2002) and Carr & Vuyovich (2014) 

 25 + MDD over 7 days (Prowse et al. 2002)8 + MDD or 2.8+ mm rain over 5 days (Carr & Vuyovich 2014)
All events 6 (11%) 32 (60%) 
Temperate Coniferous Forests 4 (12%) 20 (61%) 
Boreal Forests 0 (0%) 1 (33%) 
Temperate Grasslands 2 (18%) 8 (73%) 
Tundra 0 (0%) 3 (60%) 
 25 + MDD over 7 days (Prowse et al. 2002)8 + MDD or 2.8+ mm rain over 5 days (Carr & Vuyovich 2014)
All events 6 (11%) 32 (60%) 
Temperate Coniferous Forests 4 (12%) 20 (61%) 
Boreal Forests 0 (0%) 1 (33%) 
Temperate Grasslands 2 (18%) 8 (73%) 
Tundra 0 (0%) 3 (60%) 

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