05 Jun 2024
 | 05 Jun 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Historical snowfall measurements in the Central and Southern Apennine Mountains: climatology, variability and trend

Vincenzo Capozzi, Francesco Serrapica, Armando Rocco, Clizia Annella, and Giorgio Budillon

Abstract. This work presents an analysis of historical snow precipitation data collected in the period 1951–2001 in Central and Southern Apennines (Italy), an area scarcely investigated so far. To pursue this aim, we used the monthly observations of the snow cover duration, number of days with snow and total height of new snow collected at 129 stations located between 288 and 1750 m a.s.l.. Such data have been manually digitized from the Hydrological Yearbooks of the Italian National Hydrological and Mareographic Service. The available dataset has been primarily analyzed to build a reference climatology (related to 1971–2000 period) for the considered Apennine region. More specifically, using a methodology based on Principal Component Analysis and k-means clustering, we have identified different modes of spatial variability, mainly depending from the elevation, which reflect different climatic zones. Subsequently, focusing on the number of days with snow and snow cover duration on the ground, we have carried out a linear trend analysis, employing the Theil-Sen estimator and the Mann-Kendall test. An overall negative tendency has been found for both variables. For clusters including only stations above 1000 m a.s.l., a significant (at 95 % confidence level) decreasing trend has been found in winter season (i.e. from December to February): −3.2 [−6.0 to 0.0] days/10 years for snow cover duration and −1.6 [−2.5 to −0.6] days/10 years for number of days with snow. Moreover, in all considered seasons, a clear direct relationship between trend magnitude and elevation has emerged. In addition, using a cross wavelet analysis, we found a close in-phase linkage on decadal time scale between the investigated snow indicators and the Eastern Mediterranean Pattern. For both snow cover duration and number of days with snow, such connection appears to be more relevant in full (i.e. from November to April) and in late (i.e. from February to April) seasons.

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Vincenzo Capozzi, Francesco Serrapica, Armando Rocco, Clizia Annella, and Giorgio Budillon

Status: open (until 17 Jul 2024)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • CC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-1056', Danilo Godone, 05 Jun 2024 reply
    • AC1: 'Reply on CC1', Vincenzo Capozzi, 06 Jun 2024 reply
Vincenzo Capozzi, Francesco Serrapica, Armando Rocco, Clizia Annella, and Giorgio Budillon
Vincenzo Capozzi, Francesco Serrapica, Armando Rocco, Clizia Annella, and Giorgio Budillon


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Short summary
This study offers a “journey through time” to discover historical information about snow precipitation in the Italian Apennines. In this area, in the second half of past century, a gradual decline in snow persistence on the ground as well as in the frequency of occurrence of snowfall events has been observed, especially in sites located above 1000 m a.s.l.. The old data rescued in this study strongly enhances our knowledge about past snowfall variability and climate in the Mediterranean area.