Surface Climate and SnowWeather Relationships of the Kuparuk Basin
In addition to the meteorological data from the five tower locations, annual
surveys of the snow cover along a transect down the Kuparuk River (Fig. 8) were
conducted during the period covered by this report. Snow pits were dug and
examined in 30 locations between the Brooks Range and the coast. Acting as an
integrator of cold-season weather events, these "snow-pit traverses" present a
complementary picture of the cold-season climate in the Arctic Slope, showing
periods of both low and high wind, as well as extended periods of cold.
Solid precipitation, wind, and air temperature are the three main weather
controls on the development of a snow cover. Precipitation and wind are primary
controls, determining the depth, density, and characteristics of the snow cover.
Figure 8. Line of the winter traverses in the
Kuparuk Basin and the locations of the seven
snow pits shown in Figure 9.