Operational runoff prediction during rain-on-snow in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia

Rain-on-snow events, where rain falls on pre-existing snow, cause some of the highest peak flows in mountainous coastal regions, such as Southwestern British Columbia. Operational hydrologists have a difficult time predicting runoff during these events because of an incomplete knowledge of the energy fluxes into and within the snowpack over large areas, and because of an incomplete knowledge of which areas of a watershed have snow coverage and which do not. This project will investigate the energy fluxes that govern rain-on-snow melt with a goal of determining a simplified method for predicting runoff. Additionally it will investigate the use of satellite snow cover measurements in a hydrologic model to improve prediction accuracy via a better knowledge of the initial conditions prior to the onset of rain-on-snow.

Faculty Supervisor:

Dr. Dan Moore


Joel Trubilowicz


BC Hydro


Geography / Geology / Earth science




University of British Columbia



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