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Volume 10, issue 3 | Copyright

Special issue: Hydrometeorological data from mountain and alpine research...

Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 10, 1207-1216, 2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Peer-reviewed comment 02 Jul 2018

Peer-reviewed comment | 02 Jul 2018

Eleven years of mountain weather, snow, soil moisture and streamflow data from the rain–snow transition zone – the Johnston Draw catchment, Reynolds Creek Experimental Watershed and Critical Zone Observatory, USA

Sarah E. Godsey1, Danny Marks2, Patrick R. Kormos2, Mark S. Seyfried2, Clarissa L. Enslin1, Adam H. Winstral5, James P. McNamara3, and Timothy E. Link4 Sarah E. Godsey et al.
  • 1Department of Geosciences, Idaho State University, Pocatello, Idaho, USA
  • 2USDA Agricultural Research Services, Boise, Idaho, USA
  • 3Department of Geosciences, Boise State University, Boise, Idaho, USA
  • 4Department of Forest, Rangeland, and Fire Sciences, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho, USA
  • 5WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research, SLF, Flüelastrasse 11, 7260 Davos Dorf, Switzerland

Abstract. Detailed hydrometeorological data from the rain-to-snow transition zone in mountain regions are limited. As the climate warms, the transition from rain to snow is moving to higher elevations, and these changes are altering the timing of downslope water delivery. To understand how these changes impact hydrological and biological processes in this climatologically sensitive region, detailed observations from the rain-to-snow transition zone are required. We present a complete hydrometeorological dataset for water years 2004 through 2014 for a watershed that spans the rain-to-snow transition zone ( The Johnston Draw watershed (1.8km2), ranging from 1497 to 1869m in elevation, is a sub-watershed of the Reynolds Creek Experimental Watershed (RCEW) in southwestern Idaho, USA. The dataset includes continuous hourly hydrometeorological variables across a 372m elevation gradient, on north- and south-facing slopes, including air temperature, relative humidity, and snow depth from 11 sites in the watershed. Hourly measurements of incoming shortwave radiation, precipitation, wind speed and direction, soil moisture, and soil temperature are available at selected stations. The dataset includes hourly stream discharge measured at the watershed outlet. These data provide the scientific community with a unique dataset useful for forcing and validating hydrological models and will allow for better representation and understanding of the complex processes that occur in the rain-to-snow transition zone.

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Short summary
Weather data in mountainous rain-to-snow transition zones are limited, but are vital for water resources. We present a 10-year dataset for this zone that includes hourly temperatures, relative humidity, streamflow, snow depth, precipitation, wind speed/direction, solar energy, and soil moisture at 11 stations. Average air temperatures are near freezing 8 months each year, so that slight warming may determine whether rain falls instead of snow, affecting water supplies and fire risk.
Weather data in mountainous rain-to-snow transition zones are limited, but are vital for water...