Precipitation transition regions over the southern Canadian Cordillera during January–April 2010 and under a pseudo-global-warming assumption
The occurrence of various types of winter precipitation is an important issue over the southern Canadian Cordillera. This issue is examined from January to April of 2010 by exploiting the high-resolution Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model Version 3.4.1 dataset that was used to simulate both a historical reanalysis-driven (control – CTRL) and a pseudo-global-warming (PGW) experiment (Liu et al., 2016). Transition regions, consisting of both liquid and solid precipitation or liquid precipitation below 0 ∘C, occurred on 93 % and 94 % of the days in the present and PGW future, respectively. This led to accumulated precipitation within the transition region increasing by 27 % and was associated with a rise in its average elevation by 374 m over the Coast Mountains and Insular Mountains and by 240 m over the Rocky Mountains and consequently to an eastward shift towards the higher terrain of the Rocky Mountains. Transition regions comprised of only rain and snow were most common under both the CTRL and PGW simulations, although all seven transition region categories occurred. Transition region changes would enhance some of the factors leading to avalanches and would also impact ski resort operations.