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Intercomparison of regionally-averaged surface snowfall rates from CloudSat and reanalysis products over the Arctic Ocean

Snow cover on Arctic sea ice can influence the evolution of the ice through a variety of different mechanisms. However, Arctic snowfall in general is currently not well-characterized. This is primarily due to the logistical challenges involved in taking measurements. Airborne and in-situ snow depth measurements tend to be limited in geographical and temporal extent, especially over sea ice.

Observations of surface snowfall rates retrieved from satellite radar reflectivity measurements provide a possible means to quantify snowfall over the Arctic Ocean in general. Useful insights may also be gained from reanalysis products. This talk will present a comparison of the surface snowfall rate product retrieved from the CloudSat satellite with reanalysis surface snowfall rate products from ERA-Interim, MERRA-2, and ERA-5, over the ocean region spanning latitudes 68° N to 82° N. Sampling inconsistencies and relative biases between the products will be discussed.