CR 19:247-256 (2002)  -  doi:10.3354/cr019247

Long-term variability in reconstructed and observed snow cover over the last 100 winter seasons in Cracow and Zakopane (southern Poland)

Ma8gorzata Falarz*

Institute of Meteorology and Water Management, 30-215 Cracow, Borowego 14, Poland

ABSTRACT: An attempt to reconstruct the seasonal snow cover data in Cracow (for 26 winter seasons) and Zakopane (for 19 winter seasons) at the turn of the 20th century based on climatic data was made by using multiple regression. The results of the reconstruction were more successful for the station located at lower altitude (Cracow, 206 m above sea level) and allowed an analysis of nival conditions to be extended over 104 winter seasons. The reconstructed data obtained for Zakopane (857 m above sea level) appear to be overestimated for the number of snow cover days and sum of daily snow cover depth. Thus, they were excluded from further calculations. The mean snow cover duration at Zakopane (128 d yr-1) is twice as long as that at Cracow. An analysis of long-term variability of seasonal snow cover duration, seasonal maximum snow depth and sum of daily snow cover depth in Cracow for the period 1895/96-1998/99 and in Zakopane for the periods 1895/96-1998/99 and 1914/15-1998/99 showed no statistically significant trend in any case. The statistically significant (p < 0.05) decreasing trend of snow cover duration at both stations (-13 d/10 yr in Cracow, -8 d/10 yr in Zakopane) in the period 1961-1990 could be selected for the whole period investigated. The variation coefficient for snow cover duration is over twice as large for Cracow (37%) as for Zakopane (15%).

KEY WORDS: Snow cover · Reconstruction · Climate variability · Time series analysis · Southern Poland

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