Arctic Rain On Snow Study (AROSS)

A Knowledge & Data Hub to explore the causes and impacts of Arctic Rain on Snow events

What's New

Rain on Snow (ROS) events occur when rain falls onto an existing snowpack and freezes, forming an ice crust that can have severe consequences to wildlife, infrastructure, and communities. As the Arctic continues warms faster than ever before, it is predicted that ROS events will become more severe and frequent. The Arctic Rain on Snow Study (AROSS) at NSIDC seeks to understand if ROS events are indeed becoming more frequent as well as compile a comprehensive understanding of these extreme weather events and the extent of their impacts on wildlife, ecology, and communities.

Visit this page to explore new stories, research and data including our interactive ROS events observation map (at the bottom of this page) made in collaboration with the LEO Network.

Latest Stories

The story behind the StoryMap: A family’s tale of a rain-on-snow event

MARCH 1, 2024 | The AROSS project funded an award-winning StoryMap called "When Rains Fell in Winter," which tells the story of a Nenets reindeer herder named Tokcha Khudi and how a catastrophic rain-on-snow event impacted his annual migration on the Yamal Peninsula in 2013.

Reindeer herders and scientists collaborate to understand Arctic warming

NOVEMBER 27, 2023 | Read this ScienceNews article featuring two AROSS researchers and partners in Finland, who collaborate with Siberian reindeer herders to better understand and predict rain-on-snow events.

Lessons from an Arctic community’s winter of extreme events

OCTOBER 3, 2023 | Discover how scientists and community members in the hamlet of Clyde River, Canada, came together to unravel the mysteries behind severe winter events and their links to climate change.

What happens in the tropics can reach the Arctic and set up extreme precipitation events

APRIL 21, 2022 | Why do rain on snow and other extreme precipitation events in the Arctic happen, and where does all the moisture come from? The answers can’t always be found in the Arctic.

Community knowledge builds resilience to Arctic climate change impacts

OCTOBER 27, 2022 | Through partnerships with community members and vital climate information recorded by volunteers in local observer networks, NSIDC's Arctic Rain on Snow Study (AROSS) aims to better understand rain on snow events and other winter precipitation changes—with a focus on how they impact peoples in the Arctic. 

From vision to journey: Arctic Rain on Snow Study

JULY 21, 2022 | From 2020 to 2024, the Arctic Rain on Snow Study (AROSS) at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) hopes to quantify and better understand rain on snow and its impacts. With support from the National Science Foundation, this international, interdisciplinary research team studies these events to help mitigate the impacts on Arctic ecosystems and communities.

Rainfall in the Arctic will soon be more common than snowfall

NOVEMBER 30, 2021 | More rain than snow will fall in the Arctic and this transition will occur decades earlier than previously predicted, a new study led by the University of Manitoba (UM) and co-authored by scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) reports. 

Featured Data Products

Inventory of Arctic Rain on Snow Events: Meteorological and Surface Conditions

This data product contains surface and upper air data from global atmospheric reanalysis, and passive microwave brightness temperatures for rain on snow events in the Arctic region between 1979 and the present. Data are subsetted temporally to the time period of each event and spatially to the region experiencing the event. The time ranges and spatial extents of these subsets have been chosen to show the development of each event at the synoptic scale.

Interactive Rain on Snow Observations Map

This interactive map was produced by the Arctic Rain on Snow Study in partnership with the LEO Network and displays local observations of rain on snow events collected by the LEO Network from 2013 to the present.

Click on the map icons below to browse rain on snow events across the world. 


Laptander, R. (2023). The Yamal Nenets’ traditional and contemporary environmental knowledge of snow, ice, and permafrost. Ecology and Society, 28(3).

Stroeve, Julienne, Vishnu Nandan, Rosemary Willatt, Ruzica Dadic, Philip Rostosky, Michael Gallagher, Robbie Mallett et al. (2022). Rain on snow (ROS) understudied in sea ice remote sensing: a multi-sensor analysis of ROS during MOSAiC (Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate). The Cryosphere, 16(10), 4223-4250.

Serreze, M. C., Voveris, J., Barrett, A. P., Fox, S., Blanken, P. D., & Crawford, A. (2022). Characteristics of extreme daily precipitation events over the Canadian Arctic. International Journal of Climatology, 42(16), 10353-10372.

Voveris, J.J., (2022). Meteorological Drivers of Arctic Rain-On-Snow Events and How Climate Change May Influence Associated Risks (Doctoral dissertation, University of Colorado at Boulder). 

McCrystall, M. R., Stroeve, J., Serreze, M., Forbes, B. C., & Screen, J. A. (2021). New climate models reveal faster and larger increases in Arctic precipitation than previously projected. Nature Communications, 12(1), 6765.

Serreze, M. C., Gustafson, J., Barrett, A. P., Druckenmiller, M. L., Fox, S., Voveris, J., ... & Bartsch, A. (2021). Arctic rain on snow events: bridging observations to understand environmental and livelihood impacts. Environmental research letters, 16(10), 105009.