Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder

NSIDC Cryosphere Seminar

Meteorology and Detection of Arctic Rain on Snow Events with Mark C. Serreze, Andrew P. Barrett and Jessica Voveris of the National Snow and Ice Data Center

Abstract: When rain falls on an existing snow cover and freezing temperatures follow, or when it falls as freezing rain, it can leave a hard, icy crust. These Arctic rain on snow (ROS) events can profoundly influence the environment and shape human livelihoods. Impacts can be immediate (e.g., on human travel, herding, or harvesting) or evolve or accumulate, leading to massive starvation-induced die-offs of reindeer, caribou, and musk oxen, for example.   The Arctic Rain on Snow Study (AROSS), with researchers in Colorado, Alaska, Canada and Finland, is focused on providing a better understanding of ROS events and their impacts.   In this talk, we focus on the physical science component of AROSS – the meteorological conditions associated with ROS events, the challenges in detecting them in data-sparse areas, and steps toward providing an assessment of the frequency, intensity and spatial distribution of ROS events across the Arctic.  We show that systematic detection of ROS across the Arctic region requires combining data from satellite remote sensing, atmospheric reanalyses, meteorological station records, and local observers.  


Wednesday, August 11, 2021
11:00 am to 12:00 pm





  • CIRES employees
  • CIRES families
  • CU Boulder employees
  • General Public
  • NOAA employees
  • Science collaborators


  • Seminar
  • Open to Public



Mistia Zuckerman