Vermont Forest Indicators Dashboard

Snow Cover

Score for 2017:
Long-Term Trend:
Scores are 
Snow cover in the winter months insulates the soil, retaining both heat and moisture. Less snow can lead to deeper and more persistent soil freezing, resulting in increased tree roots mortality and changes in soil nutrient dynamics1,2,3. Also, the melting of snow in late winter can provide a steady supply of water to trees when they are preparing for bud break. Here, snow cover is defined as the number of days with snow cover greater than 1” in depth for Vermont. As trees are adapted to the conditions they have experienced, deviations in snow pack from the long-term mean (both above and below) could be problematic to forests. Therefore, annual snow cover scores are computed as the change from the long-term mean.
1Decker, K.L.M., Wang, D., Waite, C. and Scherbatskoy, T., 2003. Snow removal and ambient air temperature effects on forest soil temperatures in northern Vermont. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 67(4), pp.1234-1242.
2Groffman, P.M., Driscoll, C.T., Fahey, T.J., Hardy, J.P., Fitzhugh, R.D. and Tierney, G.L., 2001. Colder soils in a warmer world: a snow manipulation study in a northern hardwood forest ecosystem. Biogeochemistry, 56(2), pp.135-150.
3Rustad, L., Campbell, J., Dukes, J.S., Huntington, T., Lambert, K.F., Mohan, J. and Rodenhouse, N., 2012. Changing climate, changing forests: The impacts of climate change on forests of the northeastern United States and eastern Canada.
FEMC Archive Resources
Dataset: Total Days of Snow Cover for Vermont