Document Type


Publication Date



Winter precipitation (snowpack) in the European Alps provides a critical source of freshwater to major river basins such as the Danube, Rhine, and Po. Previous research identified Atlantic Ocean variability and hydrologic responses in the European Alps. The research presented here evaluates Atlantic Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) and European Alps winter precipitation variability using Singular Value Decomposition. Regions in the north and mid-Atlantic from the SSTs were identified as being tele-connected with winter precipitation in the European Alps. Indices were generated for these Atlantic SST regions to use in prediction of precipitation. Regression and non-parametric models were developed using the indices as predictors and winter precipitation as the predictand for twenty-one alpine precipitation stations in Austria, Germany, and Italy. The proposed framework identified three regions in the European Alps in which model skill ranged from excellent (West Region–Po River Basin), to good (East Region) to poor (Central Region). A novel approach for forecasting future winter precipitation utilizing future projections of Atlantic SSTs predicts increased winter precipitation until ~2040, followed by decreased winter precipitation until ~2070, and then followed by increasing winter precipitation until ~2100.


This article was originally published in Water, volume 13, in 2021.


The authors

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.