Tuesday, April 5, 2011

More humid... but no accumulation for March

During March, there was no snow accumulation on the Northern Ice Field. Telemetry indicates a couple minor snowfalls which weren't recorded by both of the ultrasonic sensors, and then an event of 5-10 cm on 18 and 19 March. Nonetheless, the average net change in surface height amounted to 0.0 cm.

Atmospheric humidity increased during the month however, so accumulation during April and May is more likely. This is the typical pattern, as the long rains (Masika) get underway with passage of the ITCZ over the region (see here, for example). February is rather dry on average, relative to the prior 3 months (NDJ), with the mean vapor pressure increasing 0.2-0.3 hPa from February into March. This year, the mean relative humidity increased by 20 percent; vapor pressure data are not yet available.