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Climate control on snowfall days in peninsular Italy

Abstract : The advent of instrumental and digital weather observatories has not eliminated the substantial gaps within surface meteorological time series. In particular, the lack of long-term homogeneous snowfall records may be a major impediment for hydrologic studies.Wetestedthehypothesisthatreliableestimatesofsnowydaysperyear(SDY)canbeproducedforpeninsularItaly,based on weather and site measurements from a limited set of stations centrally located in the Central Mediterranean Area. The core weather data are those from three observatories: Naples (40° 51′ N, 14° 15′ E, 150 m a.s.l.), Rome (41° 53′ N, 12° 28′ E, 100 m a.s.l.) and Montevergine (40° 56′ N, 14° 43′ E, 1280 m a.s.l.). A linear multivariate regression model (LMRM) was developed with candidate predictors (elevation, snowfall days and winter temperatures) for SDY reconstructions in the Benevento Valley (calibration site), whose homogenised SDY time series covers the period 1869–2018 (the longest in Southern Italy, extending backto1832thankstodocumentaryproxiesbutwithmissingvaluesfrom1911to1949).Threevalidationsitesacrosspeninsular Italy were considered: Vesuvius (40° 49′ N, 14° 24′ E, 605 m a.s.l.), Perugia (43° 05′ N, 12° 30′ E, 205 m a.s.l.) and Padua (45° 23′ N, 11° 51′ E, 15m a.s.l.). The percent relative meanabsolute error (%RMAE) for Benevento Valley was 20.2%, and though higher model errors were encountered at validation sites, they were in an acceptable range (32.6, 39.3 and 39.5% at Vesuvius, Perugia and Padua, respectively). Our SDY reconstruction in the Benevento Valley parallels, the pattern of water discharge occurredintheregionduringthesameperiod,whosefluctuationsresultinchangesofthepatternofsnowfalldays(i.e.decreasing snowfall days in recent times was accompanied by decreasing groundwater levels). This corroborates that the approach used to reconstruct SDY data takes dominant climate controlling factors of hydrological changes. We conclude that the LMRM, a statistically developed model, is physically meaningful and may be reasonably used for estimating SDY in peninsular Italy roughly down from the sub-Alpine range.
Keywords : Climate control
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Submitted on : Monday, June 22, 2020 - 4:42:27 PM
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Nazzareno Diodato, Gianni Bellocchi. Climate control on snowfall days in peninsular Italy. Theoretical and Applied Climatology, Springer Verlag, 2020, 140 (3-4), pp.951-961. ⟨10.1007/s00704-020-03136-0⟩. ⟨hal-02877788⟩



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