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Research Project: Understanding Snow and Hydrologic Processes in Mountainous Terrain with a Changing Climate

Location: Watershed Management Research

Title: Data set: A modeling dataset that spans the rain - snow transition zone: Johnston Draw catchment, Reynolds Creek Experimental Watershed, Idaho, USA

Author
item Enslin, Clarissa - Idaho State University
item Godsey, Sarah - Idaho State University
item Marks, Danny - Danny
item Kormos, Patrick
item Seyfried, Mark
item Link, Timothy - University Of Idaho
item Mcnamara, James - Boise State University

Submitted to: Scientific Data
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/24/2016
Publication Date: 6/24/2016
Citation: Enslin, C., Godsey, S., Marks, D.G., Kormos, P.R., Seyfried, M.S., Link, T., Mcnamara, J. 2016. Data set: A modeling dataset that spans the rain - snow transition zone: Johnston Draw catchment, Reynolds Creek Experimental Watershed, Idaho, USA. Ag Data Commons, USDA National Agricultural Library. http://dx.doi.org/10.15482/USDA.ADC/1258769.

Interpretive Summary: In this paper we present an 11-year modeling dataset from Johnston Draw, a small 1.8 km2 catchment in the Reynolds Creek watershed in Idaho. The JD catchment extends from 1486 – 1869m, and strongly represents the rain-snow transition zone in the interior Great Basin. In this zone precipitation can fall as rain, snow or a mix. The data presented will allow us to better understand how the warming climate is shifting precipitation from snow to rain, and how these changes are likely to impact water resources, vegetation, and ecosystems in the region.

Technical Abstract: Hydrometeorological data from the rain-to-snow transition zone in mountain basins are limited. As the climate warms, the transition from rain to snow in mountain regions is moving to higher elevations, and these changes are altering the timing of water delivery to the downstream streams, lakes and water management systems. To understand how these changes are impacting hydrological and biological processes in this climatologically sensitive region, detailed observations from the rain-snow transition zone are required. We present a complete hydrometeorological dataset for water years 2004 through 2014 for a watershed that spans the rain-snow transition zone. The Johnston Draw watershed (1.8 km2), ranging from 1497 – 1869 m in elevation, is a sub-watershed of the Reynolds Creek Experimental Watershed (RCEW) in southwestern Idaho, operated by the USDA Northwest Watershed Research Center, and designated by the National Science Foundation as a Reynolds Creek Critical Zone Observatory. The dataset includes continuous hourly hydrometeorological variables across a 372 m elevation gradient, on north- and south-facing slopes, including air temperature, relative humidity and snow depth from 11 sites in the watershed. We also present hourly measurements of solar radiation, precipitation, wind speed and direction, and soil moisture and temperature at selected stations. The dataset includes hourly stream discharge measurements at the watershed outlet. These data provide the scientific community with a dataset useful for forcing and validating interdisciplinary models and will allow for better representation and understanding of the complex processes that occur in the rain-to-snow transition zone.