Project #5128

Advancing Adaptive Wet Weather Management Approaches to Meet Emerging Challenges for Extreme Snowstorm Events and Cold Climate Impacts

In Progress
Principal Investigator
Research Manager
Harry Zhang, PhD, PE
University of Colorado at Boulder
Climate Change
Integrated Planning & Water Management
Green Infrastructure


Cities that receive high amounts of precipitation as snow face different challenges for wet weather management than precipitation as rain, both in terms of managing wet weather quality and quantity including runoff volume, timing, and deicer pollution. Furthermore, the pattern of precipitation as snow is projected to increase with climate change for the same reason that rainfall intensity is projected to increase, due to warmer air holding more moisture that can be released at once. Snowstorms are being seen in areas not prepared for them, and other regions are seeing transitions in the amount of precipitation as rain versus snow.

These challenges, as well as climate change impacts, necessitate a focus on wet weather management tailored for snow and cold climate impacts. This project aims to develop guidance on the state-of-the-practice for adapting rainstorm-based management approaches for extreme snowstorms and cold climate events.