### An intercomparison among four models of blowing snow

Jingbing Xiao, Richard Bintanja, Stephen J. Déry, Graham W. Mann and Peter A. Taylor

### Abstract

Four one-dimensional time-dependent blowing snow models are intercompared. These include
three spectral models, PIEKTUK-T, WINDBLAST, SNOWSTORM, and the bulk version of PIEKTUK-T,
PIEKTUK-B. Although the four models are based on some common physical concepts, they are
developed by different groups. The structure of the models, numerical methods, meteorological
field treatment and the parametrization may be different. Under an agreed standard condition,
the four models generally give similar results for the thermodynamic effects of blowing snow
sublimation on the atmospheric boundary layer, including an increase of relative humidity
and a decrease of the ambient temperature due to blowing snow sublimation. Relative humidity
predicted by SNOWSTORM is lower than those by others, which leads to a larger sublimation rate.
All four models demonstrate that sublimation rates in a column of blowing snow have a single
maximum with time, which illustrates self-limiting of the sublimation process of blowing snow.
However, the diffusivity coefficient *Km* has a significant influence on the process. Sensitivity
tests with PIEKTUK-T show the sublimation rate can be approximately constant with time after an
initial phase if *Km* is a linear function with height.