Occurrence and characteristics of snowfall on the highest mountain of Mexico (Citlaltépetl volcano) through the ground’s surface temperature

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Víctor Soto
Hugo Delgado-Granados


Snow has great environmental importance. Its physical properties influence the ground temperature; its long-term accumulation adds to the mass of glaciers and is also a clear indicator of climate variability. However, despite the frequency of snowfall in tropical high-mountain environments, its quantitative study is very scarce, and it is non-existent in the case of Mexico. Due to the altitude of a large part of the Mexican territory and the high ecosystem value of the snow, in this work we analyze the temporality, accumulation, and duration of the snow cover on the highest mountain in the country. The data obtained through continuous monitoring of the surface temperature of the ground allowed us to identify that snowfall occurs with greater frequency and volume during the summer and autumn months, while during the winter snowfall of less intensity occurs. The accumulation values are mostly less than 30 cm thick, and the duration of the snowpack is on average less than two weeks; however, there are episodes of greater depth and duration.


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