Perfect timing

Mirror Lake, April 14, 2011

Mirror Lake ice cover on April 14, 2011

I arrived at Hubbard Brook two days ago to host a small international workshop for a bunch of hydrologists.  What perfect timing!  Our North-Watch group is in for a real treat.  We’ve had about an inch of rain and several days of mild temperatures so snowmelt is humming along.  Not to mention, we might be here to witness ice out on Mirror Lake (see photo).  The ice out record has been observed since 1968 and shows a beautiful trend with earlier ice out by about 0.5 days per year.  The ice out date is usually in April and has been occurring significantly earlier on average, suggesting a link to climate change.  The snowpack at Hubbard Brook has also experienced change over the long-term record where there are observed decreases in water equivalent, depth, and days of snow cover since 1955.  Since the theme of our North-Watch program is changing climate in northern catchments, our meeting this spring is timed perfectly to witness these hydrological events.

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