Effect of Arctic Amplification on Design Snow Loads in Alaska
Cold Regions Research and Engineering Lab, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) Hanover
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The Department of Defense seeks an improved understanding and capacity to respond to potential climate change impacts on built infrastructure in Alaska. Other studies have hypothesized that Arctic amplification, the rapid warming of the Arctic compared to the northern hemisphere, causes more persistent weather patterns at midlatitudes, which increase the probability of extreme weather due to drought, flooding, cold spells, and heat waves. Annual maximum snow loads, resulting from the accumulation of snow throughout the winter season, may be strongly influenced by persistent weather patterns. We investigated the effects of these persistent weather patterns on annual maximum snow loads and the resulting design snow loads for buildings.