Future operations with SNOTEL

TitleFuture operations with SNOTEL
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference1978
AuthorsFarnes, P. E.
Conference Name46th Annual Western Snow Conference
Series TitleProceedings of the 46th Annual Western Snow Conference
Date PublishedApril 1978
PublisherWestern Snow Conference
Conference LocationOtter Rock, Oregon
KeywordsHydrologic data, Telemetry

The implementation of the SNOTEL (Snow Survey Telemetry) by Soil Conservation Service will cause many changes in the methods, training, and analysis of current snow survey techniques. Real time data will provide significant input to streamflow models, filling the historic void of good data from the main water producing zone. Calibration of ungaged or gaged watersheds for inputing extreme storm events will provide improved design data for reservoirs and land use planning. Accuracy of short range streamflow forecasts will be improved. The frequency of manual snow surveys at most unautomated sites can be reduced to once or twice a year. The date of manual snow surveys will become less critical. Estimates of water equivalent at manual snow courses can be made for the first of each month based on real time data from SNOTEL sites and correlation methods. Manual surveys at automated sites can be limited to times when a site is visited for maintenance after an initial calibration period between snow pillow and snow course has been established. Field snow surveyors will become fewer in number, more mobile and better trained. Reports will be more aligned with changes in water supply conditions than calendar dates.