Skip to main content

Climatology of snowfall/total precipitation days over Turkey


Annual and regional trend of snowfall/total precipitation days (S/P) have been examined by using observation collected from 237 meteorological stations evenly distributed over Turkey. Precipitation data have been analyzed as snow and rain separately. The annual Mann-Kendall trend test has been applied to the ratios of snowfall days to total precipitation days. In the study, only winter season has been used in order to account for days with snowfall. The months for which the percentage of snowy days less than 1% of total snowy days have not been considered as “winter months.” During the study period, 23 different precipitation periods have been determined for the meteorological stations. The annual Mann-Kendall trend test revealed that 65 stations have decreasing trends. Following trend test applied on the basis of individual station, stations were separated into four groups in terms of their altitudes. Then, regional trend test was applied to the grouped stations. According to the results of the regional Mann-Kendall test, a decreasing trend has been observed for all regions. In order to explain the variations of the S/P days in time, we conducted the same procedure of trend analysis for temperature data. According to the trend results, statistically significant increases in winter temperatures were observed for all regions. This revealed the fact that the decrease in S/P days can be explained by the increasing trend in the temperature variations.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7


  1. Barnett TP, Schlese LDU, Roeckner E, Latif M (1989) The effect of Euroasian snow cover on regional and global climate variations. J Atmos Sci 46:661–685

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Berghuijs WR, Woods RA, Hrachowitz M (2014) A precipitation shift from snow towards rain leads to a decrease in streamflow. Nat Clim Chang 4(7):583–586

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Feng S, Hu Q (2007) Changes in winter snowfall/precipitation ratio in the contiguous United States. J Geophys Res 112:D15109.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Groisman PY, Karl TR, Knight RW, Stenchikov GL (1994) Changes in snow cover, temperature, and the radiative heat balance over the Northern Hemisphere. J Clim 7:1633–1656

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Helsel DR, Frans LM (2006) Regional Kendall test for trend. Environ Sci Technol 40:4066–4073.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Hirsch RM, Alexander RB, Smith RA (1991) Selection of methods for detection and estimation of trends in water quality data. Water Resour Res 27(5):803–813

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Huntington TG, Hodgkins GA, Keim BD, Dudley RW (2004) Changes in the proportion of precipitation occurring as snow in New England (1949-2000). J Clim 17:2626–2636.<2626:CITPOP>2.0.CO;2

  8. Kendall MG (1975) Rank correlation methods. Griffin, London

    Google Scholar 

  9. Ke CQ, Yu T, Yu K, Tang GD, King L (2009) Snowfall trends and variability in Qinghai, China. Theor Appl Climatol 98:251–258.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Knowles N, Dettinger MD, Cayan DR (2006) Trends in snowfall versus rainfall in the Western United States. J Clim 19:4545–4559

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Kocak K (2017) A component not considered in the calculation of water budget: sublimation losses. In 5th International Participation Soil and Water Resources Congress, Kirklareli, Turkey (in Turkish).

  12. Mann HB (1945) Non-parametric tests against trend. Econometrica 13:245–259

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Niedźwiedź T, Twardosz R, Walanus A (2009) Long-term variability of precipitation series in east central Europe in relation to circulation patterns. Theor Appl Climatol 98(3–4):337–350

    Google Scholar 

  14. Nikolova N, Faško P, Lapin M, Švec M (2013) Changes in snowfall/precipitation-day ratio in Slovakia and their linkages with air temperature and precipitation. Contribution to Geophysics and Geodesy 43(2):141–155

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Özgür E (2013). Annual and regional trend analysis of ratio of snowfall days to total precipitation days, MSc. Thesis (in Turkish), Istanbul Technical University, Graduate School of Science, Engineering and Technology, Istanbul, Turkey.

  16. Raja NB, Aydin O, Türkoğlu N, Çiçek I (2017) Space-time kriging of precipitation variability in Turkey for the period 1976–2010. Theor Appl Climatol 129:293–3024

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Steppuhn H (1981) Snow and agriculture. In: Gray DM, Male DH (eds) Handbook of snow: principles, processes, management and use. Pergamon, Toronto

    Google Scholar 

  18. Serquet G, Marty C, Dulex JP, Rebetez M (2011) Seasonal trends and temperature dependence of the snowfall/precipitation-day ratio in Switzerland. Geophys Res Lett 38:L07703.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Solomon S, Qin D, Manning M, Chen Z, Marquis M, Averty KB, Tignor M, Miller HL (2007) Contribution of working group I to the Fourth Assessment Report the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, United Kingdom

    Google Scholar 

  20. Tatli H, Dalfes HN, Mentes ŞS (2004) A statistical downscaling method for monthly total precipitation over Turkey. Int J Climatol 24:161–180

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Twardosz R, Łupikasza E, Niedźwiedź T, Walanus A (2012) Long-term variability of occurrence of precipitation forms in winter in Kraków, Poland. Clim Chang 113:623–638.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Wang J, Zhang M, Wang S, Ren Z, Che Y, Qiang F, Qu D (2016) Decrease in snowfall/rainfall ratio in the Tibetan Plateau from 1961 to 2013. J Geogr Sci 26(9):1277–1288

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Yue S, Pilon P, Cavadias G (2002) Power of the Mann-Kendall and Spearman’s rho tests for detecting monotonic trends in hydrologic series. J Hydrol 259:254–271

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Yu S, Zou S, Whittemore D (1993) Non-parametric trend analysis of water quality data of rivers in Kansas. J Hydrol 150:61–80

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


The authors are grateful to the Turkish State Meteorological Service for providing the wind observations that made this research possible.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Evren Özgür.

Additional information

Publisher’s note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Özgür, E., Koçak, K. Climatology of snowfall/total precipitation days over Turkey. Theor Appl Climatol 137, 2487–2495 (2019).

Download citation