Contact: Eric Martin and Richard Essery

Because of their importance in hydrological modelling, numerical weather forecasting, climate prediction and remote-sensing, many land-surface models contain a snow model. SnowMIP1 showed that models can produce widely differing results even for the comparatively simple case of simulating snow accumulation and ablation at sites without exposed vegetation, and equally good snow mass simulations from different models can partition the surface energy balance very differently. SnowMIP2 was devoted to intercomparison in forested areas, with additional uncertainty arising from energy and mass partitioning in the canopy and at the ground surface. To evaluate and interpret the performance of models, SnowMIP2 simulations were compared with observations of a range of variables, including snow mass at paired forested and clear sites, surface temperatures, and radiative and turbulent fluxes above and below canopies.


  • Etchevers, P., E. Martin, R. Brown, C. Fierz, Y. Lejeune, E. Bazile, A. Boon, Y.-J. Dai, R. Essery, A. Fernandez, Y. Gusev, R. Jordan, V. Koren, E. Kowalczyck, R. Nasonova, D. Pyles, A. Schlosser, A. Shmakin, T. G. Smirnova, U. Strasser, D. Verseghy, T. Yamazaki, and Z.-L. Yang, 2002: SnowMiP, an intercomparison of snow models : first results. In: Proceedings of the International snow science workshop, Penticton, Canada, 29 Sep.-4 Oct., 2002, 8 p.
  • Essery, RLH, N Rutter, J Pomeroy, R Baxter, M Staehli, D Gustafsson, A Barr, P Bartlett and K Elder, 2009. SnowMIP2: An evaluation of forest snow process simulations. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 90, 1120 - 1135, doi:10.1175/2009BAMS2629.1
  • Rutter, N, and 50 others, 2009. Evaluation of forest snow processes models (SnowMIP2). Journal of Geophysical Research, 114, doi:10.1029/2008JD011063