Snow estimation and updating system (SEUS)

TitleSnow estimation and updating system (SEUS)
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference1994
AuthorsMcMannamon, A., Hartman R. K., and Hills R.
Conference Name62nd Annual Western Snow Conference
Series TitleProceedings of the 62nd Annual Western Snow Conference
Date PublishedApril 1994
PublisherWestern Snow Conference
Conference LocationSante Fe, New Mexico
KeywordsGIS, Grid model

The National Weather Service office of Hydrology has developed a methodology to generate real-time, gridded snow water equivalent estimates using ground-based and airborne snow data collected over the Western U.S. The gridded snow water equivalent estimates incorporate the spatial variability of the snowpack induced by the orographic effect in the west. The Snow Estimation and Updating System (SEUS) uses the power of a geographic information system to store, analyze and display the spatial data necessary to perform the estimation. The point snow water equivalent are interpolated into a gridded product using data derived during the calibration step. The average snow water equivalent estimates over subareas within each basin are used to update the snow water equivalent states of National Weather Service River Forecast System conceptual snow model.The system was used during the 1993 snow season to estimate snow water equivalent over the Colorado Basin above Lake Powell and to update several forecast basins. For the 1994 snow season, snow water equivalent was also estimated for portions of the Lower Colorado Basin and several basins in the Salt and Verde drainages have been added for updating. The system is comprised of a calibration component which developes the parameters specific to a basin, and an operational component which performs the interpolation in real time and estimates snow water equivalant.