Articles | Volume 16, issue 9
Research article
01 Sep 2022
Research article |  | 01 Sep 2022

Natural climate variability is an important aspect of future projections of snow water resources and rain-on-snow events

Michael Schirmer, Adam Winstral, Tobias Jonas, Paolo Burlando, and Nadav Peleg

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Cited articles

Addor, N., Rössler, O., Köplin, N., Huss, M., Weingartner, R., and Seibert, J.: Robust changes and sources of uncertainty in the projected hydrological regimes of Swiss catchments, Water Resour. Res., 50, 7541–7562,, 2014. 
Anandhi, A., Frei, A., Pierson, D. C., Schneiderman, E. M., Zion, M. S., Lounsbury, D., and Matonse, A. H.: Examination of change factor methodologies for climate change impact assessment, Water Resour. Res., 47, W03501,, 2011. 
Beniston, M. and Stoffel, M.: Rain-on-snow events, floods and climate change in the Alps: Events may increase with warming up to 4 C and decrease thereafter, Sci. Total Environ., 571, 228–236,, 2016. 
CH2018 Project Team: CH2018 – Climate Scenarios for Switzerland, National Centre for Climate Services,, 2018. 
Chegwidden, O. S., Rupp, D. E., and Nijssen, B.: Climate change alters flood magnitudes and mechanisms in climatically-diverse headwaters across the northwestern United States, Environ. Res. Lett., 15, 094048,, 2020. 
Short summary
Rain is highly variable in time at a given location so that there can be both wet and dry climate periods. In this study, we quantify the effects of this natural climate variability and other sources of uncertainty on changes in flooding events due to rain on snow (ROS) caused by climate change. For ROS events with a significant contribution of snowmelt to runoff, the change due to climate was too small to draw firm conclusions about whether there are more ROS events of this important type.