Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Seasonal change

Most years, there is a short dry season on the mountain in between the short and long rains, typically centered on February. In addition to lower humidity, this interval is identifiable in AWS measurements as lowering of the glacier surface, due to both ablation and settling of any snow accumulating during the short rains.

This year the Northern Ice Field surface began lowering on 31 December and continued until 19 February, dropping a total of 27 cm. Very little if any snowfall occurred during this interval. Then, 3 days of meager snowfall suggested that a seasonal change was beginning. Precipitation began accumulating again on the 25th, and by the 27th it appears that a more significant snowfall was underway. However, this is our most recent telemetry. Stay tuned to learn whether the long rains are beginning a bit early this year.

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