Next Article in Journal
Understanding Farmers’ Perceptions and Adaptations to Precipitation and Temperature Variability: Evidence from Northern Iran
Next Article in Special Issue
Watershed Response to Climate Change and Fire-Burns in the Upper Umatilla River Basin, USA
Previous Article in Journal / Special Issue
Climate Change Impacts on the Hydrological Processes of a Small Agricultural Watershed
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Climate 2016, 4(4), 57;

Predictability of Seasonal Streamflow in a Changing Climate in the Sierra Nevada

Division of Flood Management, California Department of Water Resources, 3310 El Camino Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95821, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Daniele Bocchiola, Claudio Cassard and Guglielmina Diolaiuti
Received: 1 October 2016 / Revised: 14 November 2016 / Accepted: 22 November 2016 / Published: 25 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact of Climate Change on Water Resources)
Full-Text   |   PDF [2333 KB, uploaded 25 November 2016]   |  


The goal of this work is to assess climate change and its impact on the predictability of seasonal (i.e., April–July) streamflow in major water supply watersheds in the Sierra Nevada. The specific objective is threefold: (1) to examine the hydroclimatic impact of climate change on precipitation and temperature at the watershed scale, as well as the variability and trends in the predictand (i.e., April–July streamflow runoff) and its operational predictors (including 1 April snow water equivalent, October–March precipitation and runoff, and April–June precipitation) in a changing climate; (2) to detect potential changes in the predictability of April–July streamflow runoff in response to climate change; and (3) to assess the relationship between April–July streamflow runoff and potential new predictors and the corresponding trend. Historical records (water year 1930–2015) of annual peak snow water equivalent, monthly full natural flow, monthly temperature and precipitation data from 12 major watersheds in the west side of the Sierra Nevada in California (which are of great water supply interest) are analyzed. The Mann-Kendall Trend-Free Pre-Whitening procedure is applied in trend analysis. The results indicate that no significant changes in both the predictand and predictors are detected. However, their variabilities tend to be increasing in general. Additionally, the predictability of the April–July runoff contributed from each predictor is generally increasing. The study further shows that standardized precipitation, runoff, and snow indices have higher predictability than their raw data counterparts. These findings are meaningful from both theoretical and practical perspectives, in terms of guiding the development of new forecasting models and enhancing the current operational forecasting model, respectively, for improved seasonal streamflow forecasting. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; seasonal streamflow predictability; Sierra Nevada; California climate change; seasonal streamflow predictability; Sierra Nevada; California

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

He, M.; Russo, M.; Anderson, M. Predictability of Seasonal Streamflow in a Changing Climate in the Sierra Nevada. Climate 2016, 4, 57.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Climate EISSN 2225-1154 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top